Being there, little and often


The most successful approach to gardening is bit by bit, with continual, small successes that build confidence, interest and a great garden.

Dig this?

A common beginning is to dig the soil. It gives exercise and looks nice! However the sequel is less fun, endless weeding and coping with the sticky soil – yes, digging makes soil more sticky! In contrast, with no dig you get less mud on your boots.

For an allotment, depending on how many weeds there are now, one approach is to cover weeds on say half the plot with black polythene, while tending and cropping a smaller area, more easily and successfully.

If there is couch grass and bindweed, your first year is more difficult and the cropped area also needs thick cardboard: see week 5 and my video on clearing weeds.


Beyond the big start-out

Start with one or a few beds of compost, on ground with annual weeds, and sow/plant straightaway if it’s the right season. As a beginner don’t be afraid to have a go, just inform your actions with best timings and methods.


Involve yourself as much as possible

Even when not anticipating jobs, seize every chance to check on your plants. Nearly always you find new jobs: thinning, weeding, pest protection, staking – and picking too. All have their best moment for biggest payback.

Special tip, the compost bucket

Good gardeners are natural multi-taskers. A top one is to have a compost bucket as companion. For example while harvesting vegetables, it’s quick to remove those small weeds, before they grow big or drop seeds. Also remove any yellowing leaves that otherwise give shelter to slugs.

Use code JH17 for a £4.00 discount on my latest organic gardening book