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Experience of no digging

Have just come upon this and sounds too good to be true!  Please let me know any advice -am planning a large border all along the fence - just saving enough newspaper to get started! 


  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,536
    what do you intend to grow in the border? Veg? permanent plantin? annuals? 
    Any information would help.
  • shsshs Posts: 21
    Hi - i'm joining up into one long bed a chinodendron and a holly (both long established) which at the moment are living in their own islands by the fence. Have planted two camelias between them (it's going to be quite a long bed) - and plan to put in a viburnam and I don't know yet what else shrub wise (another two) + then some perennials too.  Thanks for asking .... 
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 9,558
    I'm curious, what's the newspaper for?
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • shsshs Posts: 21
    This is to put in several layers - about 5 - over the grass (where the bed is going to be)  onto which goes thick layer of compost.  I understood it could be newspaper or cardboard???
  • a1154a1154 Posts: 1,073
    I understood that too, though I’ve never used newspapers, just cardboard. Make sure there is nothing on it like staples or sellotape. Don’t use shiny stuff like sunday supplements. 
    You can’t scrimp on the compost, or the paper or cardboard can dry out and possibly fly off! 
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391
    edited March 2021
    Is the area currently lawn?  If it is at all compacted, it would be better to dig it over once, then follow the no-dig principle.  You will definitely get quicker results that way, unless you are putting down 25cm or more of 'no-dig layers' on top of the cardboard, in which case that method would probably work as you would want.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • I tried the no dig method with paper before and it did not work very well. I think you need a very substantial amount of manure or compost to get it to work properly as some grass and some types of weeds like buttercups are vigorous enough to grow through a layer that is not thick enough. Cardboard works better than paper if you can get enough of it.
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