Abernethy, Aberargie and Dron News

Last date for submissions

31st July 2017

Date of publication

1st September 2017

Intelligent Gardening

[For those who hate weeding]

If, like me, gardening or specifically growing vegetables is a talent you haven’’t grasped, then the following snippet of advice might be the kick start you need. My outlook on growing has always been: dig holes, plant things, watch them grow then pick and eat them – usually too soon. The process for me lasts a number of weeks then its over for another year, until I try again.

As well as being deficient at the growing process I have never really understood the benefit of using manure – the only time I did use it, my dog dug it up and ate it – clearly I am no gardener, nor was my dog! Then behold, in an article within the National Geographic ‘GREEN’ magazine I found how to grow things using a ‘No-Dig’ bed (interesting and a lot less work) and how to use manure to get the perfect ‘bed’ for growing the perfect vegetables (I was hooked).

The article tells me that ‘building fertility from compost and manure on top is a copy of natural processes and works well for vegetable growing. Worms and soil fauna are encouraged, and as they increase in number the soil becomes better aerated, rain soaks in more easily and weeds grow less’.

The article goes onto describe the benefits to the soil, including the correct fungi and bacteria which often help plant roots to feed whilst offering nutrients for plants and other organisms that don‘t otherwise release in cultivated soil.

Weeds Grow Less – that’‘ll do for me, and perhaps for you, hence the reason I thought I must share this revelation!

For those who have the talent, or have tried and tested methods of growing successfully, please excuse my foray into an area where I am completely devoid of skill, and accept below the bulleted advice on how to set out on creating your own ‘high fertility no-dig bed’ courtesy of National Geographic GREEN.

How to create a high fertility, no dig bed

Start any time in winter, aim to be finished by March

Tread down firmly. Then use  the finest compost for a surface layer to sow and plant in to, straight away or during the season for each vegetable

Use planks of untreated timber, say 15cms wide, screwed or nailed at the corners

Place on any surface from grass (preferable) to gravel, in as full light as possible

Apart from tending your crops, the maintenance required is light but consistent weeding and then spreading, each winter, about 5cm of well rotted compost or manure on top

Fill bed to top with any combination of rotted animal manure and compost or leafmould or any well rotted organic matter you can scavange or buy