A spare bit of the vegetable plot

If you think this makes your garden look too much like a third-world shanty-town, there are more organized variations on the same theme.

First, it helps to divide your plot into conveniently sized beds and edge them with boards, bricks, or stones. These will help to stop your compost migrating on to the paths. You can now buy recycled plastic boards that slot neatly together and do the same job with no effort at all.

Second, cover your chosen bed with a good layer of newspaper or cardboard and water it well. This continuous layer will prevent weeds from becoming a problem. Finally, add layers of kitchen waste and, ideally, grass clippings as they become available.

Once you have accumulated a layer about 15cm (6in) thick, just leave it for a few months (or over winter), watering during dry spells. You can then plant your vegetables directly through the now-decomposed, organic layer. No need to dig.

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Organic Gardeners Composting

Organic Gardeners Composting

Have you always wanted to grow your own vegetables but didn't know what to do? Here are the best tips on how to become a true and envied organic gardner.

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