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What Is “No Dig” Gardening And Why You Should Try It


Digging isn’t one of the hobbies of most people when it comes to gardening. However, digging leads to blisters and back pains. The good part is there’s a no-dig gardening method. Furthermore, it is organic. Without turning soil, you can create a beautiful garden. 

Soil is a layered and natural structure for plants to thrive and evolve. No one does the digging process in forests. So, how does it happen? In the initial days, fungi and bacteria feed on the dead plant matter. These convert the organic matter into natural compost. Over time, beetles and earthworms decompose this material deeper. So, plant roots absorb the nutrients. 

Role Of Organisms

Soil organisms help to maintain a well-aerated environment. It promotes plant growth and facilitates rainwater absorption. So, the nutrient-rich organic material sustains the complete ecosystem. Instead of aerating the soil with a shovel or rototiller, one can apply compost. Doing it regularly and letting the soil organisms rest is a good trick. It is the no-dig gardening method. 


There’s only one time to disturb the soil system while shallow cultivation. After that, it is necessary to plant seedlings and weed them out occasionally. Also, weeds won’t rise to the surface when the soil isn’t disturbed. Conventional gardeners are different from no-dig gardeners in that the latter plant early in the season. It is because the ground never becomes dry enough to till. 

Healthy And Safe Food

It’s always a good idea to grow food at home. However, not many people can pursue it because a lot of hard work is required. So growing backyards fruits and veggies become easy. But a no-dig garden bed is efficient and straightforward. 

Improved Soil Fertility

The garden soil remains alive with microorganisms. Microorganisms eat from the compost pile, and what they leave off is fertilizer. It is excellent for the soil. Worms keep the ground fertile, and the no-dig method ensures the soil life remains undisturbed and flourished. 

Frequent Replanting

Initially, it takes a little longer to prepare for sowing in a no-dig garden. But once the soil gets ready, replanting becomes easy. Soil is full of nutrients because there’s a permanent layer of compost. Also, without preparing the ground again or digging, one can add a new crop layer. 

Soil Aeration

A no-dig garden has several benefits, including inviting earthworms. These live below the ground and rise to eat the mulch. Also, tunnels created by worms allow water and air to slip into the deeper layers. What does it do? A regular supply of nutrients and water is maintained at the plant roots. Soil aeration is a significant benefit of no-dig gardening. 

Better Drainage

Worms are the real heroes of a garden. Just the right amount of water stays and makes plants grow! When worms make small tunnels, it allows better water and oxygen consumption by the roots. 

Prevent The Germination Of Weed Seeds

One of the reasons gardeners avoid digging is because weeds are lurking in the soil. And the number is in thousands. Further, these unnecessary seeds are deep. So, their conditions aren’t fit for germination. In no-dig gardening, these are left alone. And weeds’ chances to sit there instead of sprouting are more. But if the soil is dug and turned, they are invited to germinate. So, no-digging results in prevention. 

A garden with several weed seeds should stay untouched to obtain the maximum benefit of organic mulches. Weeds stay intact if mulch is on the top and do not sprout. However, keeping the garden undug is the best way to avoid unnecessary germination.

On The Downside

It sounds excellent to prevent digging and tilling. But, what does no-dig require? It needs the addition of mulch or compost for top-dressing the garden beds. Some people prefer synthetic fertilizers. So, there are many environmental concerns when compost isn’t involved.

Further, the mulch is expensive for several yards of the garden. Buying it is among the most costly garden substances by far. With that, the effort and time required to distribute are too much. Yet, no-dig is an organic method and may save energy and time.


No-till farming is beneficial in many ways. Some studies even suggest it sequesters carbon inside the soil. So, the gases do not pollute the environment around. A no-dig garden is more organic and easy to prepare. Of course, the mulch is pretty expensive, but the advantages outweigh the advantages.