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Organic Consumers Association

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The Basics of No-Dig Gardening

Wouldn’t gardening be far easier and infinitely more enjoyable if you didn’t have to turn the soil and break your back every spring? Each of us has been there and done that! After all, that ritual is what conventional gardeners have taught and passed down from generation to generation.

In the search for a better way to garden, one will eventually stumble upon Masanobu Fukuoka and his trials with no-plow farming. Incredibly, it works — not just for rice, but for staple garden crops too! Let nature do most of the work, and you will be rewarded with an abundance of veggies and greens to preserve for winter and eat in season. Just follow some simple rules:

• Don’t cultivate the soil – keep the layers intact!

• Never use chemical fertilizers – add only a modest amount of compost.

• Mulch, mulch, mulch – remove (or harvest) “weeds” only when necessary.

• Forget about pesticides – go organic and embrace the concept of “do-nothing” farming.

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