Which one do you prefer: Dig or no dig?


alp

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Right! Dig or NO Dig? Which one do you favour and / or practise? You can stray from the topic as long as you come back to it. I am not strict and can't survive in such a claustrophobic environment.

(I hope I have chosen the right section to post this thread. I don't like a quiet forum and in haste might have posted some off topic threads in the wrong place and hurt others' sensibility or sensitivity.)
 
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DrCase, I think the dig/no dig and the till/no till are about the same. For raised beds the no dig/no till works great--just add compost and mulch, rake it in or not, and plant. For larger gardens it is a bit more difficult.
We do "no dig" in our small raised beds and the seasonal garden, but for the larger vegetable gardens we till. We still add compost to these beds and till it in. Both methods work under different conditions.
Thank heavens there is very little right-or-wrong in gardening!
 
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I tried several rows of various vegetables with just enough cover turned to to plant. The results were less than spectacular. This year I will till the ground completely and mulch between the rows. Once I see the results, I will post them.
 
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alp

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Dig or No Dig ... Is that like till and no-till ?
Yes. Dig is to prepare the ground before sowing. Do dig is to mulch, mulch and mulch and let the worms go their business to open the texture of the soil or not disturb the eco system in the soil. Some people just put cardboard on top and have new soil and/or mulch to take it from there.
 

alp

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I myself have a clay soil garden and patches with rubble, bricks and slabs buried underneath. When I dug, I found out tons of unwanted materials which could impede plant growth. I remember seeing this TV programme in which a couple was told to dig holes in quite a few places to see how fast the water drain. It turned out that some parts of the garden saw no or very poor drainage. The spent a lot of money digging the garden up and adding soil to it.

Agree with marlin that sometimes we have to be flexible and it's not one size fits all.

https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/grow-your-own/allotments/allotment-styles/no-dig-alternatives

For veg patches or flats, no dig is recommended.

I don't have the time for the worms to work as my clay soil is frequently waterlogged and airless. I like to be a no dig follower as I am a lazy one!
 
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I prefer to use my tiller. I need to make hill rows to keep plants from drowning during our frequent frog strangling rain storms. Tilling allows me to return the height of the rows which wash flat across the year.
 
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No dig for me on my sandy loam. The exception is a trench for runner beans where I dig in compost every autumn.
The soil has regular top dressings of mushroom compost, manure, garden compost, etc over the years. A lorry load of manure or mushroom compost most years has given me a rich, deep soil.
Mulching only does not break up the soil structure as digging does and creates a fine friable top soil
Works for me and I wholeheartedly recommend it IF the soil was previously double dug and enriched in its first year:)
 
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I don't veggie garden anymore, but when I did it was a good 90% no dig. Today I'm all about perennial plants for the critters, and given the excellent earth we have on my part of eastern Long Island, I'm at 100% no dig. The last time I used a tiller was 17 years ago, when I installed a new lawn. I do have a mini tiller that is only used to fluff up the mulch tho.
 
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I'm a no dig gardener. The only time I till is when I'm preparing a grassy/weedy neglected spot to garden in. I tilled my entire front and side yard on the east side of my property and that was a lot of work; I even busted my tiller (which I ended up giving away) trying to till in all that Bermuda grass into the sand (note I said sand, not soil, nor earth, nor dirt:D).

Nowadays I only use a shovel to till; however, I've come to realize that if the area is very large, then maybe it's not necessary to till, rather I just cover it with a very heavy layer of mulch and some cardboard if I have it. Worms (and other organisms) take care of the rest (absolutely no reason to mess with worm bins).
 
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@alp there are times when towering clouds form as hot moist air rises and punches holes in the cooler air layers above. When the time comes that the hot moist air is cooled enough it cannot hold the moisture then down comes the rain. Because it can form fast, the thunderstorm cell punches up quickly, and cools quickly. When that happens - Look out below! With the rush of now cold air we also get torrential downbursts of wind. As the wind strikes the earth it turns into straight line winds commonly 90 -110 kph These isolated thunderstorms can be quit a blow for a short period of time.

This is why I till hill rows, and why I use rebar and cattle panel fencing as plant and cage supports. And yes we have frogs, they are common but not a plague. That is because we also have snakes, which come to eat frogs and small rodents.
 
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DirtMechanic, it's nice to know someone else uses rebar and cattle panels for trellising. With our winds and the weight of the plants, those cute little wire cages one can buy would get blown away, if the plants didn't eat them first!
We don't get heavy rains often, but when we do they are "duck drowners."
 
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alp

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@alp there are times when towering clouds form as hot moist air rises and punches holes in the cooler air layers above. When the time comes that the hot moist air is cooled enough it cannot hold the moisture then down comes the rain. Because it can form fast, the thunderstorm cell punches up quickly, and cools quickly. When that happens - Look out below! With the rush of now cold air we also get torrential downbursts of wind. As the wind strikes the earth it turns into straight line winds commonly 90 -110 kph These isolated thunderstorms can be quit a blow for a short period of time.

This is why I till hill rows, and why I use rebar and cattle panel fencing as plant and cage supports. And yes we have frogs, they are common but not a plague. That is because we also have snakes, which come to eat frogs and small rodents.
So interesting to hear all these. Haven't seen you talk about it in weather section. So interesting. Our weather is very boring. And to be honest, I prefer boring weather.
 

alp

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I don't veggie garden anymore, but when I did it was a good 90% no dig. Today I'm all about perennial plants for the critters, and given the excellent earth we have on my part of eastern Long Island, I'm at 100% no dig. The last time I used a tiller was 17 years ago, when I installed a new lawn. I do have a mini tiller that is only used to fluff up the mulch tho.
Whoa! You're so lucky! I nearly want to cry when people say they have silt for soil.. My patch outside the lean to is now very slippery because of the clay.
 
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I scare of digging, my soil is full of ants and termites. I use only a small portion of my garden. I am don't even want to go to some parts when it rains, some areas are hollow below one feet.
Scariest part of my garden is holes appear out of no where (I don;t have rodents as my cats take care of that).
Only two days back I had to tie one of my papaya plant as an hole appeared near its root, and was dangerously leaning.

Termites are the one causing this I guess.

I planning to call pest control. Any suggestion?
 
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Back hoe, dig out all the horrid soil, and bring the trucks in with good mushroom soil, and dump in the area. then lime it all and plant in spring. Yep, that will do it.
 
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alp

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Are you copying Verdun's idea!? Hehe! Only joking!

I wanted to buy mushroom compost, but the nearest farm went bust...:eek::eek::cry::cry:
 
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Are you copying Verdun's idea!? Hehe! Only joking!

I wanted to buy mushroom compost, but the nearest farm went bust...:eek::eek::cry::cry:
Doubt it, as he never mentioned having 8 trucks delivering soil. you would not believe some of the machinery we used/rented to get our garden to where they are today.
 
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alp

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I scare of digging, my soil is full of ants and termites. I use only a small portion of my garden. I am don't even want to go to some parts when it rains, some areas are hollow below one feet.
Scariest part of my garden is holes appear out of no where (I don;t have rodents as my cats take care of that).
Only two days back I had to tie one of my papaya plant as an hole appeared near its root, and was dangerously leaning.

Termites are the one causing this I guess.

I planning to call pest control. Any suggestion?
Hollow? What's underneath then?

Do you have snakes? I don't mind ants, but I have had no encounter with termites and they might be a different beast altogether.

I hope it's not this kind of hole


https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/property/845643/property-two-bedroom-lancashire-rawtenstall

This hole exposed an underground stream and the council threatened the houseowner with £55k to have it repaired. Crikey! Some guy says 2 planks and a hammer will mend the hole. Council does know how to rip people off!

Oh crumbs! Have I been off topic? Or is there some kind of parallel? It might be worth your while investigating what causes these holes. Could be a stream?!
 

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