Creating A No-Dig Garden

Creating A No-Dig Garden

Jun 12, 2008

Today's LA Times Home & Garden section features an interesting story about Pat Marfisi, who has a vegetable garden in his Hollywood Hills home. What's so special about that? Well, his garden is a "no dig" garden. More after the jump..

His gardens are made of raised beds "using lasagna-like layers of fodder, bone and blood meal and compost -- and remarkably little water." He learned this sustainable technique while working on an organic farms in Australia.

"No-dig beds are created by layering organic materials above ground on newspaper. Marfisi starts with alfalfa hay (Deans recommends Lucerne hay, but it's hard to find locally), then straw and finally compost. Marfisi dusts the newspaper, alfalfa and straw with blood and bone meal. (Details in accompanying story). The layers then decompose, turning into a nutrient-rich mixture much like compost. Marfisi says no-dig is more efficient, water wise, because once a plant has a 10- to 12-inch root system, the layers of compost and straw keep moisture around the roots. And you can keep layering it over and over again as the organic matter breaks down."

Marfi's story is pretty inspiring, going from a corporate board rooms to traveling to Australia and New Zealand, to now studying Horticulture. Check out the entire story at LA Times here.

The LA Times also has a great "how-to" if you are interested in starting your own "no dig" garden. Click here to read more.

[ images by Robert Lachman for LAT ]

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