The Kitchen Garden Long Beds were all constructed using the NO-DIG method.
The process I use is:
- cut grass short and sprinkle blood and bone over area.
- lay down cardboard to cover area of required garden bed – water down if water is abundant. Esther Dean shuns cardboard and prefers newspaper but gives no reasons – I have had no problems with it over the last 4 years
- lay biscuits of Lucerne to cover cardboard
- spread 3cm animal manure of your choice – cow, sheep, alpaca, goat, go lightly with chook poo. NOT Horse, pony, dog or cat
- spread a 10cm layer of brown matter – leaves preferably
- spread a 3 to 10cm layer of compost
- repeat layers a second time if you have plenty of resources
- top mulch with straw or cane mulch – if none of these are available use more Lucerne as I do.
- water bed – additionally with a cup of Molasses to 10L of water to encourage good fungi
- Plant new seedlings into an extra handful of compost – I do this immediately or you may let the bed settle for a week – why bother?
- water seedlings in with Seaweed emulsion diluted in water
Coming into colder months I cover my long beds with a polyester fabric that is water permeable. The fabric helps traps heat, prevents frost damage and pests. Available in Australia from ALLSUN FARM. Arches are made with left over 32mm poly water pipe slid over 600mm long hardwood garden stakes.
Currently Autumn – growing in my long beds is Broccoli, Savoy Cabbage, red and brown Onion, Leek, Beetroot, Carrot. All growing is done organically, hand picking grubs so far.