Start Out No Dig, one method with cardboard and compost



My “maximum compost” method, adding a lot to make new beds, then very little in subsequent years. The cardboard also is just for this stage of smothering …

26 Comments

  1. Last week I got compost from our local recycler. I use it to plant seedling but once I wet it, it was sludgy. Is this a good growing medium? I put cardboard on top of the weeds in my raised bed. Do I put the compost directly on top and plant directly in it? Should I mix it with some miracle grow?😯 I also got free wood chips from PG&E that I was planning to use for mulch. I have been gardening for years and I wanted to try the no dig. Feeling confused.

  2. Charles, such a great video, full of information. You are the best teacher in the world! So grateful for showing us this simple, earth-friendly, non-back-breaking way of gardening. I just finished a no-dig bed with cardboard underneath and will be planting tomorrow. I have a question (that I believe you have covered but wanted to make sure I understand) – doesn’t the cardboard hinder roots of the veggies from growing through it into the actual soil? I had cardboard from last year that is still not fully degraded in the ground, hence the question. Thank you again – happy to be building life, one no-dig at a time 😀

  3. I had to order compost to start my no dig garden and the company told me if I plant straight in compost everything will die because of too much nitrogen. I will try to test that theory like a scientist 🙂 Anyone else mixes top soil with compost? Obviously there are different kinds of compost, but what should I ask about it next time I have to buy more?

  4. I watched 10 minutes of this. Ripped up what cardboard I had and used knitting needles and string to make a square metre and then emptied a bag of compost ontop (i need more) but I am so excited. I sowed a load of seeds yesterday and I was going to plant them in containers as I usually do but its hard to keep on top of watering. Im so excited to see how my garden looks this summer now. Ill be saving all my cardboard from now on. Thank you!!! Xx

  5. Hi!
    I have an area with thick grass and several rose bushes. In between them is quite some space I want to make use of for growing vegetables and strawberries.
    I really dont like digging and especially not in this rooted clay soil. I was then looking into buying a tiller or buying wood for raised beds when youtube suggested this video. This looks very interesting. Saving money and my back.
    I have a pile of horse manure consisting of turf, wood chips and sawdust from wood pellets. Materials I use for bedding for the horses.
    Can vegetables grow in my rose rooted clay soil?
    As for the edges you say there has to be edges. So I have to buy some heavy timber like 2×4?
    I thought of plastic edging but the grass trimmer will probably damage it.
    What would you suggest?

  6. Thank you for this great video! Would this work over a concrete base? We’ve got foundations from an old building and it’s prime space otherwise!

  7. Last spring I spread mulch over all my beds. I placed cardboard, but not close to the roots of shrubs, under the mulch. Worms love the cardboard.

  8. Can one use a single layer of brown paper, of the sort groceries are bagged in, instead of cardboard? I haven't got much cardboard around the house, but lots and lots of paper bags

  9. This looks interesting, but I can't imagine doing this with the 3000 rabbit army that invades my garden. I'm really having a time of figuring out how to keep them out without making barriers using metals of PVC that worry me about getting bad things in my edible veggies. You've got these mounds just on the ground out there exposed to the enemy. Don't you get invaded?

    Also, won't roots get into the actual ground and soak up your neighbors RoundUp, etc?

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