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To dig or not to dig?

I read the "no dig" veg plot in this months magazine with interest, and wondered whether could apply the technique to my shrub borders. Thinking about it my ground elder problem is worse in the more dug areas. I was going to spend Saturday pulling it out AGAIN but I'm going to give covering it up a go instead. I'll have to use some of that liner stuff that lets water through for some bits else my plants may get thirsty and it'll look awful but worth a go I think. What do people think of no dig? Anyone tried it for shrub areas?


  • Alina WAlina W Posts: 1,445

    Covering ground elder won't kill it in the borders. Digging is not a good idea either, as you will chop up its roots and every piece will produce a fresh plant. You need to follow the roots with a trowel to dig them out, or paint with weedkiller in spring.

  • "No to digging" - hurrah! Nope, it's really not working.

    I didn't intend to use the membrane thing permanently - just a temp thing. But I won't even do that now. I'll get my round up dabber out in the spring and get working on it. May have a go at seeing what root I can trowel out on sat. Especially round a few plants that it tends to swap.

    I read somewhere a while ago (perhaps this forum) that geraniums seem to beat it and it's true- I moved a bit across from elsewhere in the garden and it does seem to overwhelm the ground elder. So maybe I need to get some more geranium next summer too.
  • I have used the no dig method this year for the first full season. I can fully recommend it as well. I have spent far less time weeding, and the plants seem to have been bigger despite the wet weather. I would also recommend Charles Dowding's books on the subject as they go into more detail about getting going.

  • Ging2Ging2 Posts: 44

    Im going to try the no dig method this year for the first time.  Advice on your methods please.  Do you add manure etc thank you

  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    The no dig method as I understand it is usually about 6 foot wide raised beds where you just work from the side- so having done the initial preparation you don't walk on the soil again  and just add manure each year to revitalise the soil and let the worms and the weather do the rest.


  • Ging2Ging2 Posts: 44

    Thank you for your advise see how we go. Hopefully this coming year will be a better crop.  I thought carrots didnt need mulch but as Im having problem with them will give that a go as well.  Much appreciated image

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