Allotment Diary Travels

National Gardening Week: Celebrating all things edible with Charles Dowding

National Gardening Week has passed us by again this year and aims to be a celebration of all things gardening headed up by the RHS.

This year’s theme is celebrating all things edible – so I couldn’t not get involved in some shape or form.

My first port of call was to visit the RHS National Gardening Week page here to see what events were happening near me. The event that stood out was the No Dig talk with Charles Dowding at RHS Wisely, which is just down the road from me – so I went along to learn more about no dig for myself.

I’ve seen no dig being used by many garden bloggers online and across Instagram, and it’s something in the back of my mind that I’ve been thinking about looking into at one time or another.

Who is Charles Dowding?

If you Google no dig gardening, theres a chance you’re going to land on Charles Dowding’s website.

Charles Dowding is a market gardener who has pioneered no dig gardening since 1983.

Charles operates from his Homeacres bio-intensive, no dig garden and has written numerous books on no dig and organic gardening. He writes for a number of magazines and runs his own YouTube channel that’s a plethora of all of things no dig.

What is no dig?

I’m paraphrasing in the next few sentences, so if you’re interested in finding out about no dig in more detail – click here.

From what I understand, no dig gardening involves constantly mulching with compost and rotted material and growing in that compostable material.

The benefits of no dig are numerous, but the main points I’ve discovered are less weeding, improved soil structure, less watering and no digging of course!

The talk

The 1.5 hour talk was really interesting, but what was most telling was the number of people who had shown up for the first come first serve event.

Naturally, those at RHS Wisley didn’t want those who had queued up for over an hour to be disappointed.

So much so, representatives at RHS Wisely walked nearly 100 people across the grounds to the new buildings, which meant we got a sneak peak into the soon to be opened meeting rooms and that in itself felt very exclusive and exciting.

Just from that response alone, it’s plain to see that a lot of gardeners out there are keen to explore new methods of gardening, that in places may overwrite or overlap traditional methods of growing.

I think no dig is resonating with lots of people because of the efficiency it boasts, in terms of time and return on efforts. This is bolstered up the dedication and experiments Mr. Dowding has conducted over the years, to prove that it works.

The talk covered no dig from start to finish over the course of the year, including starting up and covering key points to help keep everything efficient and on track. I would check out for a full run down of what’s involved in starting a no dig garden.

When you look at the comparisons of what can be achieved with no dig and the logical approach of this form of gardening has, you can’t help but give it a try and see what you prefer and is most profitable.

I for one will be giving it a go!

Have you tried no digging? If yes, I’d love to your thoughts 🙂

3 replies on “National Gardening Week: Celebrating all things edible with Charles Dowding”

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