By Dawn Canham, Wimbledon Community Guild Garden Lead Volunteer
The Wimbledon Guild Community Garden, near Dundonald tram stop, will be opening for their first event of the year: The BIG DIG Day on Saturday 27 April from 11.00–2.00 pm. Although, strictly speaking, it should really be renamed The BIG ‘no’ DIG Day in our case.
The garden first opened its gate to visitors in 2018, after four years spent clearing the overgrown site and installing water, erecting a shed and poly tunnel, creating compost bins from old pallets, building several raised beds from donated cases, digging a pond, laying paths and paving, and planting native hedging. The garden was designed in accordance with permaculture principles and is managed using an organic ‘No Dig’ methodology, where wildlife-friendly wildflowers sit happily alongside organic vegetables which are grown for Wimbledon Guild’s HomeFood Café.
So what is No Dig and how does it work?
The aim is to avoid turning the soil over unnecessarily as this destroys the mycorrhizal fungi networks which feed the plants, releases carbon and brings weed seeds to the surface allowing them to germinate. The key is to mulch the soil annually with several centimetres of compost, thereby covering up the weed seeds, retaining moisture and feeding the worms which will do the drainage digging for you. Weeding becomes very easy as annual seedlings simply pull out and by trowelling out perennial deep-rooted weeds when they appear, they are weakened enough to eventually give up the ghost.
Do visit us for The BIG ‘No’ DIG Day on 27 April to see how it works and to find out more!
For more details about the event, visit the Big Dig Map and search 'Wimbledon Guild Community Garden'.