No Dig Organic Home & Garden:
Grow, Cook, Use & Store Your Harvest
By Charles Dowding & Stephanie Hafferty
Published by Permanent Publications
I have included the No Dig Organic Home & Garden book by Charles Dowding and Stephanie Hafferty in my recommended 2017 Gifts for Gardeners article, as this is simply a great gardening book, which clearly explains the principles of the organic ‘no dig’ method of gardening.
The organic ‘no dig’ method of gardening saves time and energy. The tasks used in this method of gardening concentrate on adding to the fertility of the soil using mulches, and protecting the soil’s micro organisms and fungi by avoiding unnecessary digging.
No Dig Organic Home & Garden will help readers to maximise their time in the garden, by avoiding needless tasks. This new book will also provide lots of useful, practical tips and information on many aspects of organic gardening, from weeding and clearing areas of land, details of the different vegetables to grow, advice on making the most of your polytunnel or greenhouse, and the finer points of how to store and preserve your harvest.
This really is a comprehensive book, which provides sufficient details on each area of expertise it covers, to enable the reader to understand and carry out each procedure effectively.
Charles Dowding and Stephanie Hafferty in their book, the No Dig Organic Home & Garden advise readers of the quickest, yet most effective methods of preparing ground, sowing seeds, weeding, and harvesting. This is a comprehensive book, which has been thoughtfully written and presented by the authors.
Charles Dowding and Stephanie Hafferty’s organic ‘no dig’ methods of gardening will save readers time and energy. The organic ‘no dig’ method helps to preserve the beneficial mycorrhizal fungi that live in the soil. These beneficial strains of mycorrhizal fungi symbiotically help plants to grow. The fungi and the plant combine and grow together. The fungi help the plant by greatly extending the plant’s root system, enabling the plant to establish quickly, and to benefit from a wider reaching root system, which is better equipped to take in more water and nutrients in times of stress or drought.
If you’re looking to grow some unusual crops in your allotment or garden, No Dig Organic Home & Garden features a chapter on some of the different vegetables that you might not have grown before. There is a clear overview of the eight vegetables listed in this section, giving the gardener an educated idea of what they might expect to grow, and how large a harvest to expect from each crop.
Charles Dowding and Stephanie Hafferty have run trials to prove and support their theories of organic ‘no dig’ gardening. The reader can benefit from their knowledge and expertise, which is comprehensively conveyed in No Dig Organic Home & Garden.
The ‘no dig’ method of gardening is clearly explained in No Dig Organic Home & Garden. If you, or someone you know, are looking to take on a new allotment, or wish to clear an area of land, the techniques and methods depicted in this book will provide you with the expertise and knowledge to succeed.
This book is packed full of information, you’ll find information and advice on growing perennial vegetables as well as annuals, and easy to follow guides of how to grow, cook, store, and preserve your harvest.
There is a section inside No Dig Organic Home & Garden, which covers growing inside a polytunnel or glasshouse, but other than this one section – as growing undercover is an expensive option, the book centres on economical, yet effective ideas. You won’t need to rush out and buy any expensive new materials to follow the methods which have been set out in this book. Indeed, with ideas of maximising your harvest, saving seed, composting, and recycling peppered through this book, I am certain that you will save money by following Charles Dowding and Stephanie Hafferty’s advice.
Inside No Dig Organic Home & Garden, there’s a fantastic chapter on DIY potions for your garden, home, and body, with recipes for all manner of natural products made using materials sourced from your garden or allotment. This chapter includes recipes for home cleansing products, laundry washing liquid, tooth powder, shampoo, deodorant, salves, vinegars, oils, tinctures, and tonics.
Indeed No Dig Organic Home & Garden is a superb book for the connoisseur, with recipes for cordials, fruit butters, fruit cheeses, pickles, and chutneys. There’s also a section with recipes for making alcoholic drinks, including wine, beer, cider and liqueurs. Who could resist the opportunity to make Manglewurzel wine?
No Dig Organic Home & Garden features a lovely section on herbs, with information about the characteristics of each herb, and how to grow and use each herb effectively. There’s a recipe for each herb that’s featured, which I thought was perfectly charming.
There is also a section on growing edible flowers, which will be useful for gardeners wishing to bring cheer to their salads, lunches, and supper parties.
There are not many books that I would recommend for both new and experienced gardeners, but No Dig Organic Home & Garden is certainly a book which features original and interesting information, that would inspire both new gardeners, and gardening experts alike.
The vegetables featured in No Dig Organic Home & Garden are comprehensively laid out, with information as to the optimum time to sow each crop, and other tips to ensure a successful harvest. The choice of vegetables that the gardener could sow after harvesting their particular crop that they’re currently growing is listed for each vegetable; this information is invaluable for new gardeners, or those new to growing vegetables, and will help the gardener to maximise their harvest and their efforts.
As you can see in the photograph below, the spacings are given for each vegetable listed, together with tips, pointers, and helpful observations on the characteristics of each crop, to guide gardeners who have yet to grow a particular vegetable. This advice will serve as a valuable reminder for gardeners that have experience of growing each vegetable.
Charles Dowding and Stephanie Hafferty both garden in Zone 8-9, in Somerset, in the South West of England. The timings and advice given in this book are perfectly suited for those gardening in areas with a similar climate, but these guidelines are easily adaptable for those gardening in cooler or warmer climates. The principles of the ‘no dig’ gardening method can be used all over the world.
Through following the advice set out in No Dig Organic Home & Garden, readers will be able to save time and energy, and discover the full potential of the growing capacity of the soil at their allotment or garden.
No Dig Organic Home & Garden would make a splendid gift for both new and experienced gardeners alike. For keen vegetable growers of any experience, for those who are taking on a new allotment, or moving to a new garden, I can’t think of a better present than this wonderful book!
Charles Dowding talk tickets
The National Vegetable Society are hosting a very special evening with ‘No Dig’ advocate Charles Dowding! Charles Dowding will give a talk entitled ‘Successional Sowing and No Dig Gardening‘ at 8pm, on Wednesday 14th March 2018, at East Horsley Village Hall, Kingston Avenue, East Horsley, Leatherhead, KT24 8QT. Entrance is free for NVS members. Tickets are £1 for members of affiliated societies, £2 for RHS students, and £5 for all other visitors. Please post an SAE (stamped envelope, marked with your address), together with a cheque for your tickets, made payable to the National Vegetable Society Surrey District Association to NVS Treasurer, 1 Oakfields, West Byfleet, Surrey, KT14 6RZ.
To find out more about Charles Dowding and Stephanie Hafferty’s book, No Dig Organic Home & Garden, please click here.
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