Hoping for Magic from the Muck…

Last Saturday, the sun was out (for a change) and it was a perfect day for beating the winter blues on my plots! Winter is a tough time of year for us gardeners. We want to get out and enjoy all the benefits that gardening brings but the winter weather only permits the odd day of preparation for the growing season.

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Asparagus raised bed and plot 5a.

Preparation is the name of the game on the plots at the moment…ripping up persistent perennial weeds, covering with plastic and mulching. I haven’t dug any of the plots yet. I’m planning not to dig at all to be honest. A foot injury last year prompted me to look into labour saving gardening methods and two of my blog readers pointed me in the direction of Charles Dowding’s books. Now I’m hooked, for two reasons:-

1) Clearly ‘No Dig’ saves time and effort.

2) ‘No Dig’ is better for the plots allowing the soil to develop a good base ideal for planting.

I’m beginning my second year of trialling this method, mimicking nature by building fertility from the top, without damaging the beneficial fungi and soil life underneath (I’m applying the same method to my six 4″x4″ and four mini metal raised beds). Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against digging! If a patch needs a good dig over then I’ll do it but I’d rather not 😀 Mulches include, cardboard, wood chips, compost and manure. Usually I buy the odd bag of aged manure for the plots however for the first time, I’m applying a thick mulch of manure.

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Plot 4a…beginning to mulch!

I’ve had a plot on my allotment site since January 2015 but I kept missing the ‘Who wants manure?’ question asked of key ‘plotters’. This year I was asked. A landmark event for sure…now I’m considered a ‘real’ allotmenteer!

I have my very own heap of poop!

It’s back breaking work – the only way to shift a ton of ‘poop’ is by wheelbarrow and I’ve found that I can manage to fill and unload eight barrows around the plot before I begin to ache. I’m slow but steady. I’ll finish…eventually!

Raised bed
Herb bed and worm tube.

6 thoughts on “Hoping for Magic from the Muck…”

  1. Good post! We are on our second year of no-dig as well. We got the idea from Geoff Lawton he showed us how to take old paper/cardboard and layer it with straw, compost etc.. oh, and what is that worm tube?

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    1. Thank you. I’ll google Geoff Lawton 😁Wormtubes, well I made them in 2016…the first blog ‘Mud – dwellers to the Rescue’ explains a bit about them but basically they’re mini composting tubes that enrich the patch they’re placed. They work a treat, I think and I quite like the look of them. So far I have 3 on the with another one in the pipeline (excuse the pun!) 😀

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      1. I’ll check that out. This blogging is amazing I see that you are across the sea. You say allotment..is that a spot at a community garden?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, I think so. We saw a community garden when we visited Canada last summer. The plots were quite small on the one we saw. My allotment is around one and three quarter tennis courts. The site has allotment supplies such as compost, seed potatoes, onion sets etc. We also have rotavators, petrol strimmers…you know the sort of bigger machinery needed by some to make the work a little easier.

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      3. Oh wow that’s different much bigger and more productive. Great idea for us. Will be reading more of your blog😊

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