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The Benefits of No Dig Gardening

Following on from the Regenerative Agriculture information in a previous article, I have done some research into the benefits of ‘No Dig Gardening’ method. In essence, this is back yard regeneration on a smaller scale.

Read below to learn more about the benefits of No Dig Gardening including:

  • Long term healthy soil structure full of good organisms and microbes
  • Minimal weed growth
  • Education

Long term healthy soil structure full of good organisms and microbes

Not only is this method easier on the body after the initial setup, there is also the added benefit of creating a long-term healthy soil structure full of good organisms and microbes. For heavy clay soil this method is excellent allowing for better drainage and easier handling of the garden planting. For our sandy coastal soil, it is equally perfect to build up a rich planting base without wasting time and money trying to enrich poor and often hydrophobic or water-repellent soil. Many a time I have composted and manured into sandy soil to get a summer crop only to have it revert back to hydrophobic soil the next season unless I kept up a high rate of water to it.

Minimal weed growth

weeds growingAnother plus for the No dig method is there seems to be minimal weed growth. Weeds often grow when soil is disturbed and cultivated and left bare before new plants grow to cover the soil. With No dig method, when a crop is picked and the bed prepared for a new crop, a fresh layer of compost is raked over the top of the bed rather than turned into the bed by digging. This allows for new nutrients to be added to the bed without disturbing the earth worms and soil structure already built up. Moisture is also maintained which is a good practice in our drying climate.


Charles Dowding has some great videos on the subject and has conducted lots of trials on the method comparing soil quality with traditional gardening dig methods.  Morag Gamble’s Method for Simple Abundance is also worth a watch and has some inspiring soil building garden tips. Morag is aa Australian Permaculture Gardener. Gardening Australia has “How to Do” videos on the No Dig process also.

Experiment and try No Dig Gardening in your backyard 

I plan to experiment on a patch of ground that is covered in paddock style kikuyu and couch grass. It’s really thick and I can’t bring myself to spend hours digging runners out only to have them creep back as has happened in the past. I’ll keep you posted as to how my No Dig experiment is progressing.