I've heard a bit about the 'No Dig' method of gardening and as with most things I do, whether gardening or otherwise, I find out the basics and fumble my way through, wondering afterwards why it didn't work and think what a stupid idea it was in the first place, or on the rare occasion, be bloody amazed that it did work. This I think will be no exception. I did take a look at Charles Dowding's website, he's quite an authority on the subject, but with so much information and so little time, I quickly found what I needed and set of to the allotment. Basically, you can turn a lawned area turn into a veg plot without any digging. All you do is mark out your bed, put cardboard down in that area and wet it, put some leaf mould and/or manure at least 2 inches thick on top of the cardboard and then compost and topsoil on top of that. As far as I can see, that is the bare bones of it, but click on the link to get the full picture. In fact I strongly recommend you do, I'm sure that in my haste, I may have missed some details.
So pictured above is how the area looked as I arrived at the plot. I thought it would be an easy task, clear everything to ground level and put the cardboard down. If only, so much for being lazy. The dreaded brambles had taken root, 'No Dig' was out the window before I had even started. So of I trot to get my fork. Where I was digging out the brambles is also where the raspberries are growing from when I first acquired my plot. To be honest, until they fruit, I can't tell a raspberry from a blackberry. I think it may be a case of starting from scratch with the raspberries and dig it all up. After being whipped in the face a few times by the brambles and a hawthorn piercing through TWO layers of leather gloves, it was a bit chilly today, this is how it was left this afternoon.
I know its hard to tell from these photos exactly what I've done, but I can tell you that I've cleared the width of the plot by five foot deep. I have been working away at the plot these last few weeks, but I've been doing the same task for a while now and it wasn't really blog worthy. Till next time and thanks for reading.