Book Review: No Dig Organic Home And Garden
No Dig Organic Home And Garden teaches the principles of no-dig gardening. It’s also filled with recipes for homegrown meals and sustainable cleaning products.
UK market gardener Charles Dowding is considered the expert when it comes to no-dig gardening. His YouTube channel has become quite popular.
But he also has written several books as well as offers online courses.
No Dig Organic Home & Garden is filled with not only his guidance on no-dig but also recipes.
He co-wrote the book with Stephanie Hafferty, also a no-dig gardener in the UK who lives as self-sufficiently as she can. So there are recipes not only for dishes to eat but also household cleaners.
Charles covers many aspects of growing food in this book, including deciding where and what to grow, how to deal with pests and disease, saving seeds and of course his no-dig methods.
His compost-making process is also covered, including how to get compost that is almost weed-free.
There are also chapters on extending the season with row covers, cold frames and greenhouses and polytunnels.
Plus ways to store and preserve your harvests, either short term or long term.
As mentioned Stephanie includes lots of different recipes, everything from vinegars (both for seasoning foods, but also for cleaning purposes) to garlic sprays to combat insects on plants. The recipes are simple and easy to follow.
Later in the book Charles also provides his choices for top vegetables to grow in the perennial, roots/leaves and pods/fruits categories.
There are also chapters on herbs and edible flowers to enliven dishes.
And finally Charles shares his own experiences as a market gardener on how to sell and trade your crops if you want to make money or just share the bounty of your garden with others.
Buy it on Amazon with the link below or any other of your favourite book retailer.
Overall No Dig Organic Home And Garden is a great book for the food grower that really wants to expand and make homegrown food a part of their lifestyle.
And be sure to check out his YouTube channel as well.
Hi Marc, thanks for the book review. Obviously I have not read the book and so this question may be answered in the book. I am old school plus I have a huge horsetail problem in my raised beds so have not converted to No Dig. I have always wondered though how, if not turning the soil ,does oxygen get circulated into the soil.
Keep up the good work your articles are always of interest to me.
Hi Chris, Horsetail is a big problem! Charles does have a lot of issues with bindweed (perennial morning glory) and he’s had success with smothering it under thick layers of cardboard and for really bad infestations heavy plastic covers. It does however take a few years to eradicate it. Probably similar to horsetail. The worst you could do is till or even dig too much as breaking up the horsetail roots just gives you more of them.
Also keep in mind horsetail spreads by the spores too, so keep cutting it down and dispose of the horsetail. Bindweed and other perennial weeds are the same – if you keep cutting off foliage before it has a chance to grow too much, you will weaken the roots over time. It is a lot of work though!
As for oxygen getting into the soil, that’s what the soil organisms are for. After all nature doesn’t till the soil and some of the best soil is on the forest floor where decades of fallen leaves, pine needles and other debris have collected. And it helps to mulch with coarse compost, not finely sifted compost.