Saturday, January 22, 2011

No dig Vegetable gardens

This is the plan for our vegetable gardens. A no dig garden lets me prepare the soil quickly and be aware of exactly what is going into our gardens.

Building a Raised Garden Bed

Thanks to Les Boucher from Australia, who has provided the following photos of building a no-dig garden with a raised vegetable garden bed (See Les' comments below): Lay out your garden area. Leave the grass it will die, or cut it if you wish. The garden beds can be any height.
Raised vegetable garden Les1 Step 1.

I've previously built ones for community groups of about 1m (3ft) high to allow for wheelchair access. It's a matter of layering to get things to the height you want.

Raised vegetable garden Les 2 Step 2. Lay out old cardboard. Try your local supermarket for this... recycling it...

raised vegetable garden Les 3 Step 3. Wet your newspaper before you spread it out — it will stick together when you overlap it.

raised vegetable garden Les 4 Step 4. Spread WET newspaper OVER cardboard making sure that it overlaps by about a quarter to one third of its size.
By doing it this way you are cutting out the sunlight and the grass will die and it, as well as the cardboard and paper, will all rot back and feed Mother Earth.

raised vegetable garden Les 5 Step 5. Next comes a layer of Lucerne Hay (more food as it breaks down).

raised vegetable garden Les 6 Step 6. A thin layer of Manure (in this case "Moo Poo") is then laid out...

raised vegetable garden Les 7 Step 7. Finally this is all covered with a layer of straw (I use Pea Straw as it adds more nutrient as it breaks down) and it also works as a mulch for your plants keeping them warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

raised vegetable garden Les 8 Step 8. From here it is just a matter of making a small hole in the top layer of straw and adding a handful of potting mix or compost and planting into it.
You can see the results of this one that I prepared earlier.

I hope that this inspires you to build your own raised vegetable garden and to get out into your yard and smell the roses (or cabbages).
Les Boucher - raised vegetable gardener
Here's Les, and his comments:
"Since building these garden beds, I have gone on to share this idea with others, including building eight beds 4m x 2m (13ft x 6½ft) for a men's shed complex near where I live. These are about 1m (3ft) high to allow access by wheelchair bound people as well as those able bodied people who have bad backs." Les Boucher


  1. Great tips! We need to get our vege patch happening. ;-)

  2. Yep easy to follow. Hope it works well for you!!

  3. Hi, are there any vegetable that you can't grow this way, like potatoes for example?