To Dig or Not to Dig

How to start a veg plot

To Dig or Not to Dig?

Is digging your vedge patch the best way forward?

It’s been on my mind that turning over the soil releases carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere, which in turn is harmful to the stratosphere, this effects the Ozone layer and if the ozone layer is damaged my plants will fry, so no salad.

Then again, I only have a small garden plot, and it’s a bit like trying to measure the damage my bit of digging might cause compared to the worlds agricultural practices. OR is leaving the bathroom light on all night really going to make a difference compared to the lights of cities that can be seen from space?

Although you could argue that we individually contribute the mass of city lights, and therefore we do in fact have the power, no pun intended, to turn most of them off.

Well then, how about a compromise to appease my conscience, I’ll dig half the planting area and practice a ‘No-dig’ approach on the rest of the raised beds 50/50 that’s fair.

This isn’t intended to demonstrate which method produces the best results, there’s loads of controlled studies on that, (it’s the no-dig method), I’m doing this for the planet and the personal experience of trying to grow the best plants that I can. Also, here in the UK most are expecting food prices to go nuts as we slip away from the European union. But we don’t talk about that here.

First I do need to dig up the lawn. You’ve heard the phrase ‘Grow food not lawns’? Well tell that to the kids. So another compromise, half lawn half allotment. Besides, I still want an area to invite people round for summer drinks and the customary barbecue in the back garden. Not to mention that it will provide a great opportunity to show off the the delicatessen of leafy green vedge, and literally the fruits of my labour, whilst serving up the burger and fresh homegrown salad.

 

Preparing the vegetable patch
To dig or not to dig

 

The theory I’ve put into practice is that by slicing off the turf and flipping it over to cover another layer of lawn achieves three things. First I create an area in which to dig in, second by turning over the grass onto another patch blocks out the sun and eliminates photosynthesis, so eventually the grassy growth will compost. Lastly the mound of sandwiched turf creates the foundation of a raised no-dig bed. So no waste and less digging and two planting areas from one spade full of turf.

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Well then, now that I’ve created the vedge patch. I should get on with the task of planning what to put in it. Back to Pinterest to look up crop rotation and growing cucumbers then. But why not take a moment to have a well deserved coffee, whilst staring out of the kitchen window to admire my handy work, and imagine what it’s going to look like alongside a tall Gin and Tonic.

If you want to see how I got on in the first 5 months click here and here’s a little more info on the inspiration for the ‘No-Dig’ method.

 

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About Keep It Green 19 Articles

A passionate organic gardener and advocate of green living ideas and ethics being taught in mainstream education. A blogger, photographer & website designer. A food lover and believer that quality and smart healthy eating doesn’t have to cost the Earth. Always learning, always searching.

1 Comment

  1. I’ve been digging my new garden beds, building them into raised beds and then using no dig after that. So far so good? I just splurged and bought myself a broadfork this year.

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