Gardeners' World Web User
10/02/2008 at 10:23
When we first took over our plot October '05 it looked like some sort of terrible scene from a 50's/60's SciFi film. You know the one where the unsuspecting explorers are getting picked off one by one by the plants tendrils.
So for the first winter I set to digging out the weeds from old carpet, lengths of metal pipe/tubing that had rusted at surface level and were hibernating under ground waiting for an unsuspecting finger or two and miles of those evil white roots that you know will sprout into yet another man-eater as soon as you turn your back.
Then I boxed out the first half of the plot. The weather had other ideas. It rained and rained and suddenly the plot looked like the Somme, complete with duck boards. We had a shed donated from the other end of the site, much fun being stopped by the new owners as we humped the shed away, oops!
So come rain or, well, rain actually we struggled with the mud and so we were ready. All the raised beds were sieved and stones etc cast aside.
By gingo we were ready for the spring sow.
The growth and yield was staggering. So I started on the second half, despite the fact that the sun was now making up for time, phew it was hot. The bottom end of our site was blessed with a mature asparagus bed, lucky huh! But the rest of the plot was full of spuds.
So shirt off I dug out the beds to a depth of 500mm lined them with mulched leaves and sieved everything back in. Back breaking and the cause of much derision by other plot holders, but we couldn't keep up with the produce, welcomed by family, friends, colleagues and the like.
So last year was light in produce all across the site but after the addition of 3cu metres of the stables' best fallout (sic) in November '07 not a weed in site, yippeeee! And with the advice of Bob Flowerdew and the old fellas (every plot has them) we will only hoe the little green aliens in except for the nasty ones.
2008 the year of the No-dig. Happy growin'!