To dig or not to dig – That is the ?

As some will already know I am a no dig fan. If this is something that interests you here is a

Beginners Guide by Charles Dowding

Fewer weeds, save time.

A large part of no dig’s success is to do with the relative absence of weeds. You save so much time, and are free to be more creative, with less of the constant need to weed. Incidentally I love wild areas and buzzing wildlife, but am not a fan of weeds in the veg patch or flower borders. They can easily go from just a few, to swamping all other growth, especially new sowings and plantings. No dig makes it possible to enjoy a clean garden with mixed plantings, beautiful and productive, full of wildlife too – especially in the soil.

  • Whenever soil has been dug, loosened or turned over, it recovers from the disruption by re-covering with weed growth – both from roots of perennial weeds and seeds of annuals.
  • When left uncultivated/undisturbed/no dig, soil has less need to recover and grows fewer weeds, as shown by a look at Homeacres at any time of year. Check out the growing number of no dig gardens and allotments too.
  • No dig soil is full of beneficial organisms and microbes, which help plants to find nutrients and moisture, and convey health to the gardener, for example by feeding his/her gut biome.

There are always a few new weeds, from seeds blowing in or brought in with composts, and they need removing by hand when small, or hoeing off as tiny seedlings. It is a little and often approach. Vegetable growing is bountiful and easier when weeding is just a small issue, still necessary but taking less time.

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Printed here with permission from Charles Dowding

Brown marmorated stink bug

Another pest to identify and control.

The brown marmorated stink bug has arrived in the UK, threatening fruit and vegetable crops during summer and heading inside people’s homes during winter.

If you find a brown marmorated stink bug, the scientists request that it is photographed and the image be emailed to Max or NIAB EMR  for confirmation.

Native to China, Japan and Korea, brown marmorated stink bugs are fast-breeding insects that come in various shades of brown and grow up to 1.7 centimetres. They get their name from the foul smell they exude when they feel threatened.

Photos required

We are building a library of photographs which we will use on our website. If you have any photographs of plot-holders (get permission please) or the allotment in general please send then to the webmaster

Please give your images a unique title so as to avoid confusion.

You may add a short caption if you wish.

Thank you.

Wasp Spider sighted at Humber Allotments

The wasp spider is a very large, colourful spider that has recently arrived in the UK from the continent and has slowly spread over the south of England. It builds large orb webs in grassland and heathland, and attaches its silk egg-sacs to the grasses. The web has a wide, white zig-zag strip running down the middle, known as a ‘stabilimentum’, the function of which is unclear. 

Mating is a dangerous game for males; they wait at the edge of the web until the female has moulted into a mature form, then take advantage of her jaws being soft and rush in to mate. However, many males still get eaten during this time.

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