St Nicks

Centre for nature and green living

30 Jan

No Dig Gardening – talk

Tue 30 Jan 2018 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Central Methodist Church, St Saviourgate, York , YO1 8NQ

Charles In Homeacres garden, 2013. Photo by Stephanie Hafferty.
Charles In Homeacres garden, 2013. Photo by Stephanie Hafferty, via https://www.charlesdowding.co.uk

The venue for the 2018 talk is the Central Methodist Church on St Saviourgate. Doors will open from 6:30pm and talk starts at 7pm so come early if you’d like to:

  • take part in a speedy seed swap run by Edible York 
  • grab a cuppa before the talk

UK’s ‘King of No Dig’ Charles Dowding is an acclaimed innovator of no dig, organic growing since 1983. His original, weed free methods give superb results in both small and large areas. He sells produce from his no dig garden in South Somerset, has written nine books, writes for national and international magazines, runs a YouTube channel with over 1.5 million views, appears on tv and radio including BBC Gardeners World, and teaches extensively at home and abroad. Below you can watch one of his many videos explaining the benefits of no dig gardening.

No Dig talk poster

Please help spread the word by downloading this poster and sharing with anyone who may be interested. Thank you!

This will be an illustrated, one hour talk on how to encourage soil life, enjoy easier harvests, and enable your garden to become part of the solution to so many environmental problems. Followed by questions and answers. Charles will explain:

  • How he makes, buys and uses compost of different kinds.
  • How to clear perennial weeds with mulches, including couch grass and bindweed.
  • How to maintain a no dig plot, with an annual mulch of compost. This sequesters carbon, instead of releasing it by digging/tiling.
As well as reducing the time and effort needed to cultivate and weed, no dig  and mulches of organic matter have these other benefits:
  • earlier harvests thanks to a dark surface and busy soil life
  • fewer weeds, especially in summer and autumn
  • a smaller area needed to crop the same amount
  • less watering
  • soil drains well thanks to undisturbed channels made by worms and other organisms
  • a longer harvest season, because successional sowing and planting in summer is so easy
All good for the health of our soil’s inhabitants, us and the environment!

Talk review Feb 2017 from Lympstone, Devon: “He is clearly both artist and scientist. As an artist, he works with the medium of soil and seasons to create a changing mosaic of edible abundance and colour. As a scientist he has developed repeatable methods of production employing nature’s deepest principles of economy.”

St Nicks is very excited that Charles has accepted our invitation and is coming to York as part of his Northern tour. His methods fit very well within the One Planet Living principles which St Nicks promotes so we aim to give him a warm welcome in York – please help spread the word and fill the hall. You’ll be able to buy some some of Charles’s books on the night.

Entry: By donation on the night. If you’d like to reserve a seat near the stage, it’s £5 to be paid in advance –  please use the booking form below or pay by cash/cheque (payable to ‘Friends of St Nicholas Fields’) at the Environment Centre. When these tickets sell out, just come along on the night – the church has a huge capacity so we’re highly unlikely to fill it completely. We regret we are unable to accept bookings over the phone for this event.


On the same day we’re pleased to be working with Askham Bryan College on a Horticultural Conference for their students so that future horticulturists and other land-based professionals can also benefit from Charles’s expertise.

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£5.00