I’ve read the book and watched the videos and I’m a convert to the idea. I’m still sceptical about the practical application, in two areas.
- My ability to source sufficient compost for the initial 6″ mulch
- The ability of cardboard and mulch to halt couch grass and bindweed roots
The only way to see if it works for me is to give it a go. This part of the plot doesn’t have any paths, so I’ve experimented with different top dressings as they became available.
Mushroom compost – I applied a generous layer to dug soil. A week later, I planted out broad beans and two weeks after that, they looked like this, leaves yellowing and then shrivelling to brown. I rescued the healthiest survivors by placing in bottomless pots with multi-purpose compost. I’ve since put some swede seedlings in the area and the leaves are yellowing. I wonder if the soil is now too alkaline. No more mushroom compost for plot 48, I’ll stick with manure.
I’ve also covered a narrowish area 10×4 with a straw/manure mix. I plan to put the squash and courgette there. After that, another thin strip of dug soil topped with home-made compost.
At that point, the lack of rain stopped digging. That’s when it occurred to me to not dig! I had an almost full bulk bag of freecycle compost and top soil and I sourced cardboard from local shops. Given the lack of rain, I damped down the cardboard before topping up with the soil/compost mix. The no-dig patch is about 10×5 BUT the soil is only 3″ deep rather than the recommended 6″. The hand fork is the depth measure. I refer you back to concern number one.