How to start a low-maintenance, high-yield, high-health garden

The no-dig method of gardening has high productivity and less work weeding and planting.  No-dig suppresses weeds by simply covering them; you don't have to till, you get fewer weeds, healthier soil, & healthier plants.


Converting lawn into a no-dig garden takes some upfront work, but the steps are simple:

  • plan your garden area based on 2.5 foot wide beds, with 1-2 foot paths between them, and outside
  • mow the garden area as low as your mower will go
  • cover the area with 1-2 layers of cardboard
  • lay out 4-6 inches depth of compost for the beds
  • lay out 4-6 inches depth of wood chips for the paths
  • add wire perimeter fence to keep out rabbits and other critters
  • water deeply every other day or so (rather than shallow daily)

This type of garden, sized big enough for a small family, can be set up and planted in a single day.


Learn from the leading expert on no-dig gardening, Charles Dowding.

Local sources for materials:

We'll have a very wide array of vegetables, flowers, & herbs (many medicinal), many high phytonutrient varieties, with some including a matched companion plant (which you will not find elsewhere):

  • tomatoes, 14 varieties
  • sweet peppers, 6 varieties
  • hot peppers, 4 varieties
  • cucumbers, 9 varieties
  • kale, 4 varieties
  • eggplant, 4 varieties
  • Swiss chard, 4 varieties
  • melon, 4 varieties
  • squash, 11 varieties
  • herby celery
  • herbs: Chamomile, Lemon Balm, Mexican garlic, Oregano, Wild Bergamot, Holy Basil, Fenugreek, Black Seed (Nigella Sativa), Sweet Thai basil, Chervil, Cilantro
  • flowers: Nasturtium, Bells of Ireland, Mollie Rilstone, Lord Nelson, Prince of orange, Beaujolais, sunflower, Honeywort kiwi blue, Isabellina zinnia, Green Envy, Coral Beauty, Cherry Queen

Each of these varieties has unique nutritional and/or medicinal values, history, & flavor.  Having a diversity of these is great for your meals, and also for your garden because diversity increases pest resilience. 

Full list of plants