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  1. #1
    ilex's Avatar
    ilex is offline Seedling
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    Default To dig or not to dig!

    I just read an article in the magazine "Grow It!" (They didn't have Grow Your Own) that discusses the benefits of not digging in fertiliser (in particular manure) as it harms the natural dynamics of the soil. The principle is that if you dig in this nutrients it will destroy worm tracks, kill various do-gooders and in fact aerate the soil too much which could allow for excessive leaching. Whereas, leaving a layer of fertiliser on the top of the soil allowed for worms to create tracks to the surface for drainage and naturally incorporated the nutrients from the manure into the soil without disturbing the existing soil ecosystems!

    The author compared beds that were prepared at the same time; two that were turned over with manure and two that were covered in the same amount of manure on top of the soil. The dug bed had a spurt of growth in late spring that brought the plants growth on par with the un-dug bed, where the un-dug bed had been growing steadily. The author hypothesised that this was because it took time for the soil to recover form the disruption of being turned over with manure.

    The final results with the vegetables was that they were of similar size and quality. The soil remained nutrient rich but of good quality - not cracking when it was dry weather, no leaching and the drainage being better.

    Has anyone used this method and noticed a difference? I feel compelled to turn in manure and rake up the soil under the pretence that the roots will go deeper (yay bigger carrots ), receive more nutrients and that the fertiliser will be spread throughout the soil. This article I feel, is telling me to be lazy and just chuck it on top and let the worms do all the graft...

    what do you think?
    Ilex

    The sun, with all those plants revolving around it and dependent upon it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do. - Galileo

  2. #2
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    I am all for letting the worms do the work.

    “If your knees aren't green by the end of the day, you ought to seriously re-examine your life.”

    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Charles Churchill : A dog will look up on you; a cat will look down on you; however, a pig will see you eye to eye and know it has found an equal
    .

  3. #3
    binley100's Avatar
    binley100 is offline Gardening Guru
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    Wot she ^^^ said
    S*d the housework I have a lottie to dig
    a batch of jam is always an act of creation ..Christine Ferber

    You can't beat a bit of garden porn

  4. #4
    Two_Sheds's Avatar
    Two_Sheds is offline Compost Everything...
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    I think you'll find that many of us practise a 'no dig' or at least a 'limited dig' system
    All gardeners know better than other gardeners." -- Chinese Proverb.

  5. #5
    hawthorns's Avatar
    hawthorns is offline Cropper
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    Default

    ive taken over an allotment and will be doing the no dig method. charles dowding is the expert on his.

  6. #6
    Liza's Avatar
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    Let the worms do the work
    You have to loose sight of the shore sometimes to cross new oceans

    I would be a perfectionist, but I dont have the time

  7. #7
    Snadger's Avatar
    Snadger is online now Dundiggin
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    My Majesty made for him a garden anew in order
    to present to him vegetables and all beautiful flowers.- Offerings of Thutmose III to Amon-Ra (1500 BCE)

    Diversify & prosper



  8. #8
    Snadger's Avatar
    Snadger is online now Dundiggin
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    I dug my plots the first year removing all perennial weeds that I could and then applied a thick mulch of cow manure (Six inches thick)

    This was four years ago and I haven't dug since.

    Harvest a crop.......cover the soil with an organic mulch and sow or plant another crop! Simples!
    My Majesty made for him a garden anew in order
    to present to him vegetables and all beautiful flowers.- Offerings of Thutmose III to Amon-Ra (1500 BCE)

    Diversify & prosper



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