No-Dig Flowers

When planning our flower farm, no-dig gardening seemed to be the ideal system for a number of reasons.


Abbey Farm Flowers is bang in the middle of the historic abbey site, literally surrounded by ruins, so digging and heavy machinery was never really an option.


I have done no-dig beds at home and I was really impressed by the fertility, workability and lack of weed pressure of the growing area, so I was always keen to give it a go, but having tried to dig a few small holes in the top field for shrubs, it’s looking even better as an option. The ground is a thin skim of weeds over a layer of compacted hardcore and gravel - NOT perfect for growing flowers, but as we’ll be above that, hopefully it will work well!





No-Dig gardening has been around for years, often known as sheet mulching or ’lasagne gardening’, as i uses layers of organic material to suppress weeds and provide a growing surface. Anything will work - at home I used layers of cardboard, manure and old thatching straw, but at Abbey Farm Flowers we’re using cardboard topped with a loam/compost mix. This means we’ll be able to plant straight away (I filled & planted on the same day today), and the loam element means they won’t shrink like pure compost would.





We’re getting on well, and have two beds of shrubs, two of perennials and have started transplanting annuals. Next week, when the weather eventually warms up, we will plant our dahlia tubers and start transplanting more annuals from home.


It’s very exciting to see plants in the ground, and if we get a few weeks warmer weather, it should all really take off. Luckily, all gardeners are optimists!



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