Less work in your gar­den

Manawatu Guardian - - HOME & GARDEN -

No-dig gar­dens are great be­cause they’re less work — and you can make one just about any­where.

No-dig gar­dens have even been cre­ated on top of con­creted patches or on an ex­ist­ing lawn. Just re­mem­ber, if you are build­ing your bed on con­crete, you’ll need a layer of sticks or other coarse ma­te­rial on the base to en­sure that the wa­ter can drain away.

Gen­er­ally, you can start your no-dig gar­den by:

First choos­ing a sunny po­si­tion then build­ing the sides us­ing boards or bricks.

Next lay sheets of news­pa­per to cover the base. This layer should be about 50mm thick, with the edges well over­lapped.

Next spread a layer of coarse straw, fol­lowed by ni­tro­gen-rich pea straw.

Sprin­kle on some Yates Blood & Bone, Dy­namic Lifter Or­ganic plant food and some gar­den lime Wa­ter well. If you have room, you can add more sim­i­lar lay­ers.

Tip a few cir­cles of rich, home­made com­post and some Black Magic Seed Rais­ing Mix on top of the soil.

Wa­ter, drain and plant seeds or seedlings.

As seedlings be­gin to grow, start feed­ing them with a liq­uid food like Yates Black Magic Seedling fer­tiliser.

Wa­ter reg­u­larly but gen­tly so that you don’t wash away your seeds or baby plants.

As the plants grow, the whole yummy jumble starts to break down and cre­ate its own rich soil.

In spring you can sow seeds of beans, sweet corn, toma­toes, cour­gettes and pump­kins.

In au­tumn plant cab­bages, broad beans, peas, radish and spinach.

When the crop is fin­ished, you can add an­other layer and re­plant.

It’s im­por­tant to re­mem­ber the words “no-dig”. If you dig the gar­den, you dis­turb the lay­ers. Just add more com­post, ma­nure and straw when it’s needed be­tween crops.

Try to prac­tise sim­ple crop ro­ta­tion by mak­ing suc­ces­sive plant­ings from dif­fer­ent plant groups. Fol­low a leafy crop like let­tuce with a fruit­ing crop such as toma­toes.

Weed­ing should be min­i­mal but some­times straw will pro­duce seedlings. These can be sim­ply scuffed out when they’re tiny and left on the sur­face to die and add their good­ness to the mix.

This process is very easy but, if you for­get how to go about it, you’ll find the di­rec­tions in the lat­est (77th) edi­tion of Yates Gar­den Guide.

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