Page 18 - Forest Row Local November Edition
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18 November 2021 • Forest Row Local
   to excess oxygen and sunlight, accelerating the loss of stored carbon to the atmosphere. So if we disturb the soil less, we keep carbon in the soil and help in a small way with slowing down climate change.
Digging is sometimes necessary.
Although I am becoming more of a fan of no-dig every day, there are some circumstances when digging the soil is necessary, for instance when planting or harvesting. If we really must dig, then
we should make the disturbance as small as possible and ideally use a bronze implement. (Bronze is less disruptive to the soil than iron because it is not magnetic and doesn’t rust. It therefore doesn’t alter the electrical energy in the soil or leave decaying particles of iron, both detrimental to soil health. Bronze also slides into the soil much more easily than iron, disturbing the structure less)
If we are new to no-dig, I would suggest we could experiment on a small area of our garden first - perhaps one flower or vegetable bed. If we try it for
a year or so and compare the cultivated with the no-dig bed we may notice the difference in the soil health, vitality and reduction in labour. Additionally, if we take advice from the many experts on this subject (Charles Dowding – the pioneer of ‘no-dig’ is a good starting point, either in books or the internet), the joys and advantages of this exciting and fascinating gardening style may, despite decades of digging and spuddling, become our new normal.
Michael Fuller
 01342 889 455

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