The No-Dig Garden Bed Workshop

As Part of our Spring Fair on the first weekend of Spring, 2016, The Lost Plot President, Ali Bigg presented an interactive No-Dig Garden Bed Workshop. It was a hit for young and old, and one of the most fun workshops in the garden so far. Below we will outline the basic steps involved, so that you too can make one in your own backyard.

Step 1: damp newspaper as a 1st layer to stop the weeds coming through.

Step 1: damp newspaper as a 1st layer to stop the weeds coming through.

Step 2&3: Palettes down to create an 'air-pocket' which will prevent the roots of a nearby eucalyptus from impacting on the garden bed. (This step is only necessary if there is a eucalyptus nearby!) Then, a layer of shade-cloth to prevent the soil falling through.

Step 2&3: Palettes down to create an 'air-pocket' which will prevent the roots of a nearby eucalyptus from impacting on the garden bed. (This step is only necessary if there is a eucalyptus nearby!) Then, a layer of shade-cloth to prevent the soil falling through.

Step 4: Lucerne hay (rich in nitrogen) in a nice thick layer.

Step 4: Lucerne hay (rich in nitrogen) in a nice thick layer.

Step 5: The kids did a fabulous job watering in the lucerne. We wanted to make it nice and wet. We also added a few watering cans full of weed-tea (a fertiliser we make at the garden from all of our non-compostable weeds), and a watering can of worm-wee (from a worm farm). These would both have to be well diluted if applied directly to plants, but in this case we could just pour it in, nice and strong!

Step 5: The kids did a fabulous job watering in the lucerne. We wanted to make it nice and wet. We also added a few watering cans full of weed-tea (a fertiliser we make at the garden from all of our non-compostable weeds), and a watering can of worm-wee (from a worm farm). These would both have to be well diluted if applied directly to plants, but in this case we could just pour it in, nice and strong!

Step 6: Next up, layers of horse manure, lawn-clippings, shredded paper (No shiny stuff!), worm-rich matter from the worm-farm and finally a layer of good quality compost/garden soil. We kept the hose running the whole time to get plenty of moisture in there

Step 6: Next up, layers of horse manure, lawn-clippings, shredded paper (No shiny stuff!), worm-rich matter from the worm-farm and finally a layer of good quality compost/garden soil. We kept the hose running the whole time to get plenty of moisture in there

The finished No-dig garden, complete with a groovy sign post! This final layer can be planted into in at least 3 weeks time. It's best that we let the garden bed sit for a while, especially to give the horse manure some time to settle in. It will be creating a lot of heat as it breaks down, and that could be too much for some young plants to handle! Many thanks to Ali for running the workshop, Adrian for building the frame from some recycled fence posts, and to all of our enthusiastic participants and helpers. Fabulous effort!!

The finished No-dig garden, complete with a groovy sign post! This final layer can be planted into in at least 3 weeks time. It's best that we let the garden bed sit for a while, especially to give the horse manure some time to settle in. It will be creating a lot of heat as it breaks down, and that could be too much for some young plants to handle!
Many thanks to Ali for running the workshop, Adrian for building the frame from some recycled fence posts, and to all of our enthusiastic participants and helpers. Fabulous effort!!