No Dig gardening is traditionally practised in the ground, often (but not always) in raised beds. Awareness of No Dig gardening has risen in recent years, thanks to the work of inspiring growers like Huw Richards, Charles Dowding and Stephanie Hafferty. But does it also work in containers? Here I share my thoughts and experience.
I would love to hear yours in the comments below.
The benefits of No Dig
The biggest benefit of No Dig gardening in the ground – besides less work – is reduced disturbance of the microbial life in the soil. Disturbance, unfortunately, harms important fungal networks and damages bacteria populations. Plants need these fungi and bacteria to access their food, in the same way that we need bacteria in our stomachs to digest our food. By helping microbial life to flourish, No Dig helps plants to grow stronger and healthier.
Another benefit is less weeds. As reduced disturbance brings less weed seeds to the surface where they can germinate.
Applying No Dig to Containers
Can we get these same benefits by practising No Dig in containers? Due to the fact that the volume of soil in a container is much, much smaller, our containers will usually have less microbiological diversity, and fewer extended fungal networks than in the ground. As a result, digging in containers will probably do less harm than digging in the ground.That said, it is beneficial in container gardening to mimic nature as much as possible.
So it makes sense to try and encourage and support as much biological activity in our pots as we can. For example, I make and add worm compost to my containers. Worm compost is full of microbial life, and helps create a more biologically active potting mix that plants grow stronger and more vigorously.
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I don’t agree with gardeners who think fall and winter are the time to throw in the towel. Oncoming cooler weather tells me it’s time to find a warm place to bring in my most treasured tropicals and to get going on my next task: creating cool-weather combos.
If you like chillies – and you have enough sun to grow them in – they are a brilliant choice for containers and small spaces. In this post you can find out why I find them so good, my three favourite varieties (the choice of variety makes a big difference), and three wonderful sauces / pickles to make with your harvests. I’d love to learn about your favourite chilli varieties and homemade chilli sauces in the comments below.
If your garden is looking lacklustre, a container bursting with vibrant autumnal plants is the quickest and easiest way to give it a boost. There’s a host of beautiful plants that are looking their best right now, that will thrive in a container. Here, we share some of our favourite plants for autumn pots. There are options to suit every colour scheme, and plants that will thrive in sun or shade. Our choices include recommendations from the Gardeners’ World team and familiar faces from across the gardening industry.
Do you have potted plants outdoors and live in areas where the temperature may drop below 32 degrees F (0 C)? If so, those plants will need extra winter protection to survive the freezing temperatures and desiccating winds.
With judicious planting, you can have a run of flowering from early February to late May, starting with snowdrops, crocuses and Iris reticulata, and ending with late tulips such as ‘Queen of Night’. In beds, alliums and camassia extend the show further.
No Dig Gardening – a method that not only saves your back from the strenuous task of tilling but also enhances your soil’s fertility, reduces the need for constant watering, and practically eliminates the persistent problem of weeds—all while being environmentally friendly! Scroll down to discover the art and science of this game-changing technique!
One thing I sometimes grapple with is how far apart to space seeds and plants in a container. Should I follow the guidelines on the side of the seed packet – or can veg in containers be grown closer together? After playing around with different spacings, I ‘discovered’ some general rules of thumb.
Here are different types of radishes you can grow! From vibrant colors like black, white, red, pink, and green and amazing taste for your palette, these types of radishes with pictures will leave you in awe.
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