Organic Gardening: The Natural No-dig Way

Front Cover
Green Books, 2010 - Organic gardening - 239 pages
2 Reviews

In Organic Gardening Charles Dowding shares the philosophy, tips and techniques that have enabled him to run a successful organic garden supplying local restaurants and shops for over 25 years.

-    Forget the 'received wisdom' about gardening. Observe what is going on in the soil and with your plants, in your own garden and climate.

-    Respect and encourage life as much as you can, chiefly by spreading good compost or manure.

-    There is no need to dig in compost and manure - just spread it on top and let worms take it in. Digging can harm soil structure, and is not helpful to plants.

Based on his experience of using a system of permanent raised beds, Charles takes you through a delicious variety of fruit and vegetables: explaining what to choose, when to plant and harvest, and how best to avoid pests and diseases.

With simple recipes for your fresh-picked produce, this second edition features new photographs and more tips and advice.

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - juniperSun - LibraryThing

An English gardener--too bad I didn't realize that when I borrowed the book. I do like his idea of skipping all the double-digging that intensive gardeners do, keeping weed seeds buried and the soil ... Read full review

Not useful for the US

User Review  - beefchick - Borders

I had high hopes for this book, but it has very little information about gardening methods. Most of the book is about specific vegetables that will grow in ENGLAND. Not much use for other climates. Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Charles Dowding is an internationally recognized organic gardening expert and winner of the 2014 Garden Media Guild Practical Journalist of the Year award. He talks on radio and television and contributes articles to many magazines, including Gardeners' World, Gardens llustrated and Grow It! He gives regular talks, runs courses and advises many gardeners on best practice, including the National Trust in the UK. 

He is a veteran organic grower, having practised no-dig gardening for many years. In his gardens over the years he has run experiments to compare differences in growth between vegetables on dug and undug soil. He has discovered different patterns of growth in most seasons, with slightly lower yields, more weeds and slugs found on the dug beds.  He is currently establishing a new  garden to illustrate no-dig practice and form the basis for a new experiment. 

He says: "I have always been interested in lookiing 'behind the scenes' and asking why things are as they are, questioning practices that are taken for granted. This led me to grow organically, at a time when the chemical approach was rarely challenged."

His books for Green Books are:

Organic Gardening: the natural, no-dig way

Salad Leaves for All Seasons

How to Grow Winter Vegetables

Gardening Myths and Misconceptions

Find out more at

Photo: Stephanie Hafferty

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