No Dig Organic Home and Garden, co written with Charles Dowding, won the Peter Seabrook Practical Book of the Year Award at the 2017 Garden Media Guild Awards.
About the book
No dig organic gardening saves time and work. The authors draw on decades of experience to explain the skills you need for growing great vegetables in less time. They explain and illustrate delicious ways to eat them, and other things you can do with garden plants. Both Charles and Stephanie wrote the gardening chapters, combining their experiences of market gardening, working on private estates and growing in smaller gardens and allotments.
No dig organic gardening saves time and work. The authors draw on decades of experience to explain the skills you need for growing great vegetables in less time. They explain and illustrate delicious ways to eat them, and other things you can do with garden plants.
No dig organic gardening saves time and work. An annual dressing of compost helps accelerate the improvement in soil structure and leads to higher fertility and less weeds. It is a great way of growing abundant food year round even in smaller spaces.
Ecologically beneficial, no dig methods help to keep carbon in the soil and works sustainably with wildlife and nature . The organic mulch on the surface suppresses weeds, helps to conserve moisture and feeds and protects the soil flora and fauna, including mycorrhizae. Many gardening organisations including the RHS and The National Trust are trialling and adopting no dig methods based on Charles’ work.
In the book, no dig experts, Charles Dowding and Stephanie Hafferty, explain how to
- make compost and enrich soil
- learn skills you need to sow and grow annual and perennial veg
- harvest and prepare food year round
- make natural cosmetics, cleaning products and garden preparations
These approaches work as well in small spaces as in large gardens. The authors’ combined experience gives you ways of growing, preparing and storing the plants you grow for many uses, including delicious vegetable feasts and many recipes and ideas for increasing self reliance, saving money, living sustainably and enjoying the pleasure of growing your own food, year round.
Charles’ advice is distilled from 35 years of growing vegetables intensively and efficiently; he is the acknowledged no dig guru and salad expert both in the UK and internationally.
Stephanie, a kitchen gardener, grows in her small, productive home garden and allotment, and creates no dig gardens for restaurants and private estates. She creates delicious seasonal recipes made from the vegetables anyone can grow. She also explains how to use common plants you can grow and forage for to make handmade preparations for the home and garden.
Judges comments at the Awards ceremony 23.11.2017, London
The judges were bowled over by the sheer volume of useful information in this comprehensive book. Written with obvious passion by people who practice what they preach, it’s full of immensely logical and clear explanations that don’t baffle with technical terms. The useful key tables and clear, informative photos all add to this hugely practical book that is perfect for anyone interested in growing their own veg and making the most of their harvests without needing to dig.
Book of the Month in Gardens Illustrated August 2017:
No dig is just the starting point of this book and it goes on to cover every possible aspect of growing, cooking and preserving, combining all of Dowding and Hafferty’s knowledge, ideas and recipes. There are tables for the best sowing times, required soil temperatures and spacings, plus protection, pests and diseases are covered in detail.
Then there are recipes for using your produce to create DIY potions for the garden – sprays, fertilisers and so on – and for the home – soaps, cleaning solutions and laundry powder – as well as plenty of mouth-watering, vegetable-based recipes.
All of these extras combine to make this more of a manual for self sufficiency and an alternative lifestyle than a straight gardening book, and it is all the more useful and thought provoking for it. It is a brilliant place for a beginner to start and will also give old timers pause to consider doing things in this alternative way. (Lia Leendertz)
RHS review The Garden p.93 November 2017, by Jim Buckland of West Dean Gardens, Sussex
(We both wrote the gardening section which isn’t clear here, it’s a lovely review about Charles’ work though!)
“Although I have been gardening professionally for 45 years, I found this book enlightening, thought provoking and immensely practical in equal measure. I am confident that if this were the first volume to grace the shelves of a gardening novice, it would be equally stimulating and useful, and would ensure a smooth start to a growing life. It does exactly what the title suggests it will do, and does it with clarity, humour and immense practicality.
Despite being an enthusiast for his take on growing practice, he is not a fanatical ideologue but a true empiricist. His arguments are based on the outcome of years of rigorously recorded experimentation and observation, forming the foundation for all of his recommendations. Charles is a man driven by a desire to find the most effective and environmentally benign method of producing as much food from a small area as is feasible. He then converts it to good domestic use with the able assistance of his partner and co-author Stephanie Hafferty.”
Lorenzo Costa, Permaculture magazine
A treasure of information, it is a complete guide to fertility and healthiness, from soil to body, made clear through real life experience. –Lorenzo Costa, Permaculture magazine
Richard Swann, Star & Furrow: Journal of The Biodynamic Association
This is what I would call a complete ‘organic lifestyle’ book. The lifestyle is that you the reader can learn about how to grow his or her own organic vegetables and use recipes that give you inspiration for what to do with some of the produce. It is beautifully produced with lots of detailed pictures to help guide you.
One of the Top 10 Gardening Books for Christmas, The Telegraph