The No-dig Garden Patch
'The No-dig Recipe' by Esther Deans
Below is a tried and tested variation of Esther’s Recipe:
Ingredients:Newspaper or cardboard (non-glossy)
Autumn Leaves (no gum leaves)
Blood and Bone
Compost (home made)
Comfrey or fresh grass clippings (from your garden)
Manure (chicken, cow or horse)
Loose straw or Certified Organic Sugar Cane Mulch
- Soak newspaper in a wheelbarrow using water and 1 cup of molasses. Molasses is great for promoting soil microbes.
- Decide on the location of your garden (a sunny spot), measure and mark the length and width of the garden bed using flour. If grass is long within this space you could trim back a little with clippers.
- Sprinkle the area with Blood and Bone and then layer with soaked newspaper or cardboard to suppress growth of grass.
- Cover the entire area with sheets of newspaper or cardboard layers at least ½ cm thick. Overlap the newspaper or cardboard by a third leaving no gaps for grass to grow through.
- Create an edge for you garden with bricks or pavers, etc placed on top of the outer edge of newspaper/cardboard.
- Sprinkle some Blood and Bone (1 handful per square metre), home made compost (from your compost bin), manure (chicken if you have it, otherwise cow/horse is fine) and comfrey and/or fresh grass clippings from your garden over the newspaper.
- Add a layer of Autumn Leaves.
- Lay the surface with a thick layer of lucerne padding.
- Water well – you can add diluted worm juice if you have it.
- Sprinkle some Blood and Bone (1 handful per square metre), homemade compost (from your compost bin), worm castings, manure and comfrey and/or grass clippings.
- Spread a thick layer of loose straw or certified organic sugar cane mulch over the top.
- Water well with diluted Seasol liquid seaweed solution.
- Repeat from steps 5 to 8.
When ready to plant make pockets in the garden bed and fill with some home made compost or mushroom compost – plant your seedlings into the pockets of compost.