How To Grow Amazing Plants Without Digging

If you want a great garden, but don't want to dig the soil in your backyard, you might think that the task is impossible. However, growing plants without digging is not only possible, but a responsible way to care for the earth. This guide explains the benefit of growing plants without soil, as well as how to get started.

No-Dig Gardening Benefit

Earthworms are your friends when trying to grow plants. They work to naturally fertilize the soil and rid the area of some unwanted pests. When soil is over-cultivated by digging to plant new vegetation or flowers each year, it eventually becomes compacted, which makes it hard for earthworms to do their job in that area, so they move on to other, more hospitable soil.

How to Get Started in No-Dig Gardening

Get started in no-dig gardening by obtaining the following items:

  • newspapers
  • alfalfa
  • straw
  • compost
  • tiller
  • gardening gloves
  • your favorite plant seeds

Once you have all these items, follow these steps

Step 1: Locate the Perfect Spot: Find an area in your yard that gets a good mix of sun and shade during the growing season. The area should be easy to get to so that maintenance is a breeze.

Step 2: Till the Soil and Remove the Grass: Loosen the grass by tilling the soil lightly. Then put on your gardening gloves and remove all the grass, along with any weeds from the area. In doing so, beneficial earthworms can still move around and enter your growing medium.

Step 3: Layer Your Growing Medium: Once you have your area tilled and clear of grass and weeds, put down a layer of newspaper. Follow that with alfalfa, and then add a layer of straw. Cover this with compost. Water this plot to allow all the ingredients to begin working together. In time, they will naturally attract earthworms, which further help your plants grow.  

Step 4: Plant the Seeds: Place the seeds into the mixture about an inch below the surface. Make sure that the seeds are covered and then water.

Step 5: Maintain the Plot: Water the plot daily until the seeds begin to sprout. Then water as needed, or daily during seasons of drought. Apply manure or compost to fertilize the plants by gently working it into the medium, without disturbing it too much.

Replace the growing medium each year at the beginning of your area's planting season so you can start fresh. Ask your landscaper at places like Maddox Garden Center & Landscaping, Inc. for ideas on which plants grow well in this type of medium if you're unsure. Share this with others who want to grow a garden but don't want to disrupt too much of the natural soil in their back yard.