No Dig Potatoes – April 12th, 2019

I’ve wanted to try no dig potatoes for years now. In fact I’d really like to practice more no dig gardening but as hubby does most of the work on the allotment I have a limited amount of influence. The theory is that soil bacteria which are important for the uptake of nutrients into plants are killed and disturbed by digging. It’s a bit like the bacteria in our guts which we are now starting to realise are so important for our health – soil bacteria are important for the plant’s health.

I think with no dig gardening you have to be a little more accepting of a few weeds and untidiness whereas my husband likes the allotment looking good. However this year we have extra land to play with. We are losing half of our allotment but have gained half of another one. At the moment we still have access to the soon to disappear section so we are having a play with no dig potatoes (see photo). We have lain potatoes inside a frame and covered them with straw. We could have used compost but didn’t have sufficient. It will be interesting to compare yields as we also have a few rows planted in the usual way. I’ll let you know how it works out.

We now have seeds planted in trays and sheltering in our mini green house and the lettuce and rocket I grew inside plastic rings are now planted out in the garden but covered with glass to protect them from frosts. The broad beans which should by now be in the ground have been slow to germinate. We suddenly realised that we had forgotten to soak the seeds overnight before planting and what a difference it has made. Normally the plants are poking through the soil in days whereas this year it has taken them weeks. We won’t forget that one in a hurry!