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The question of whether or not to dig the soil in your garden is quite a contentious issue and one that we encourage you to experiment with. While digging is what most of us expect to have to do when growing veggies, there is plenty of information emerging on why a ‘no dig’ approach is good – for reducing soil erosion and compaction, retaining moisture, preserving micro-organisms and (of course) the gardener’s back. Those in favour of digging will make the case for – among other things – improved drainage and aeration. There is no right answer, and as with all things living, it is very much site- and resource-specific. Here are links to a couple of excellent exponents of the ‘no dig’ approach. If you have never considered the possibility of planting without digging up the lawn to create a garden bed, your mind may well be blown by the labour savings and abundance possible with this method.

Start Out No Dig: One method with cardboard and compost
How to Make a No-Dig Garden: Morag Gamble’s Method for Simple Abundance

Whatever you decide to do, you will need at least 20cm of good top soil, containing plenty of organic matter. We recommend activating your soil with biodynamic soil activator to get your soil biota stimulated.

The photograph above shows one of the techniques we employ here on the farm to avoid the impact of heavy machinery and deep digging on the life in the soil. Called a tilther, it is used in regenerative agriculture to create the perfect mix of refined soil and compost in the top inch of the soil.

There will be more on organic matter and compost in our next post on growing your own backyard veggies.