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No Dig for perennials

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  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen SpainPosts: 4,307
    That’s true, raisingirl, tho achieving the state of ‘no bare soil’ is tricky. For example, many of my perennials and roses are still young and need space inbetween to grow and fill out, so I don’t want to crowd them out with ground cover plants or hungry annuals.

    My main perennial beds are heavily mulched with ericaceous compost - in an attempt (probably futile) to balance out the very alkaline soil - and I find weed seeds are much less likely to germinate in this than in the veg beds which get ordinary compost and bagged manure. Perennial weeds don’t seem to thrive there either. I have no idea if that is just coincidence or whether the ericaceous compost is providing a hostile environment for local weeds...
  • Can you walk on no dig soil?
  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 4,201
    gr.letley said:
    Can you walk on no dig soil?
    You can but it's better to avoid it as much as possible. Use boards to spread your weight when you're working in the bed, to reduce compaction.

    @Nollie a thick surface mulch is 'no bare soil' - it's covering the native soil and inhibiting evaporation. I have the opposite problem to you - heavy wet acidic clay - so some areas of my garden are 'mulched' with a thick layer of grit and others with rotted manure mixed with compost which is quite limey. 
    “It's not worth doing something unless someone, somewhere, would much rather you weren't doing it.” ― Terry Pratchett
  • We are clay as well. Over time we have dug in manure, various compost and different plants.
    The garden is also south facing, so when it's hot, it bakes.
    Both me and hubby are fit, but we both have arthritis, so a no dig garden seems to be the solution.
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen SpainPosts: 4,307
    Do you think a mulch of the opposite PH to your soil helps more with the weed suppression @raisingirl or is that just my imagination? Do you notice a difference? I wonder if anyone has ever done any experiments...

    I use stepping stones in the border to prevent compacting the soil/stop me treading on plants.
  • wdtangwdtang Ontario zone4bPosts: 2
    I think what the poster is asking is about ADDING plants to an existing garden,moving perennials to divide, or better situate, any kind of gardening that REQUIRES digging....making new holes! It’s certainly a necessity for flower gardeners that have established gardens that grow and change over the years...Like most, I add compost and mulch every year to my perennials, add amendments w new plants, but it’s not possible to put in new plants or remove ones that are not working with out ruining the soil structure...am also wondering the best way to maintain the hard won soil health, using no dig principles.
  • gr.letley said:
    I've turned my garden into a cottage garden and when visiting Sissinghurst Castle this weekend, found they used the No Dig method, the results are pretty impressive. 
    So what I want to know is can I use this method on a garden that is already planted?

    The short answer is yes.
    Or you can revisit Sissinghurst and ask. Win win.
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 8,296
    edited 31 March

    Dixter also uses no dig.
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