Do you dig it?
We didn’t consciously become ‘no diggers’ in the Genus vegetable garden, but it seems this practice has become extremely popular in the last decade or more - it’s merits recommended and promoted by gardeners such as Charles Dowding and Stephanie Hafferty.
More than just removing the strenuous physical activity of digging it promotes improved soil health by allowing the natural processes and development of a healthy soil biome to develop. Improved drainage through the action of burrowing worms and other soil dwelling creatures, as well as a healthy subterranean fungal network, make for perfect growing conditions for our homegrown vegetables.
To this end we topped up the beds with our own homemade compost this week, applying several inches to each of the 25 beds. This process used up all of the contents of one of the three compost bays we have. Often a process of discovery, we’re happy to report that no rusted secateurs, penknives, or shoes were found - just a permanent marker (red if you’re missing it) that was long past its ‘use-by’ date.
We’re also relieved to report that none of our ratty friends made an appearance - long term readers may remember the heart stopping moment several years ago when Samuel Whiskers and Anna-Maria made a dash for it while we slowly dug our way through their makeshift home. With the digging out of the compost and the increased heart rate induced by the leaping rodents it makes this the perfect job for a frosty day. Not quite ‘no dig’ after all!