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A vegetable garden with fences made from tree branches and a winding path

Overview

A no-dig garden is a great way to grow a vegie patch. It removes the need for backbreaking ground work and it can be constructed over grass, existing beds, concrete or paving. A no-dig garden involves layering various organic materials – woodchips, straw, grass clippings, dried leaves, aged manure and compost – into an existing bed or raised garden bed. As the materials break down, they transform into a nutrient-rich mix for your plants to grow.

A person spreading straw mulch on a garden using a garden fork

 

Steps

1Prepare your chosen location

Choose a spot that receives at least six hours of sunlight and level, if required. If constructing over existing lawn or dirt patch, line the base of your bed with a thick layer of cardboard or newspaper and wet down.

2Lay foundation of woodchips

Spread a 10cm layer of wood chips over the newspaper and top with a handful of blood and bone. Water well.

3Add grass clippings

Spread a 10cm thick layer of grass clippings or green waste over the wood chips. Wet down.

4Layer mulch and organic fertiliser

Add 10cm layer of straw and sprinkle blood and bone over the top. Water well.

5Place manure over the layers

Spread a 5–10cm layer of bagged manure over the top.

6Continue the layering process, this time with green waste

Add 10cm layer of green waste and sprinkle blood and bone over the top. Water well.

7Now include compost

Spread a 5–10cm layer of compost over the top.

8Repeat steps 3 to 7 until near full

Repeat with layers of straw, compost, clippings, and manure until the bed is near full. Finish with a generous layer of compost.

9Plant seedlings

Dig a hole in the compost, fill with compost, plant seedling, backfill and water in well. Mulch around the seedlings with pea straw.

As time passes, the layers will break down and the height of the bed will drop. Simply top up by alternating layers of straw, compost and manure to keep the garden growing for seasons to come.

Close-up of a someone watering plants in a raised bed using a watering can

 

10Want a temporary gardening option instead?

If you’re not completely set on having a vegie patch, test out your green thumb with our D.I.Y. portable garden bed.

 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

 

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.