Wednesday 1st August 2018
Charles’ talk explains the principles of a no dig approach, so that listeners can go home to apply the method, in whatever way suits their site and materials to hand.
He shows how to clear weeds by mulching on top, without any soil disturbance and shows different composts and how to make your own.
He explains how mulches of organic matter work to feed soil life, so that the billions of organisms can help plant roots find their food, air and moisture. Charles illustrates many different vegetables, show methods of planting and pest protection, and methods of propagation.
In the garden afterwards the participants shall mulch some weeds and do some sowing into compost.
Shankill Castle is a living museum in Ireland’s Ancient East. Wander through time and explore its unique heritage and culture on a guided tour of the antique and art filled castle. Take a stroll through vibrant gardens and woodland.
Charles is a pioneer since 1983 of timesaving methods of organic, and especially no dig gardening. In addition, he trials and publicises new methods of growing/picking/marketing salad leaves, and of multi-sowing vegetables.
He has created and cropped four no dig, organic market gardens, on stony, silt, white and ordinary clay soils respectively. In the 1980s his garden covered 7.5 acres (3ha) of no dig beds and was less intensive than now. His growing methods are as applicable in small areas as in large ones.
Currently he crops an intensive 0.25 acres/1000 square metres in Somerset, SW England, for local sales of salad leaves and vegetables.
He has written nine books, runs a YouTube channel, writes for national gardening magazines, appears on BBC gardening and gives talks/courses at home and abroad.
The gardens at Shankill offer a tranquil retreat – a mixture of formal gardens and wild vistas. There are 19th century laurel lawns; gigantic sequoias beside self-sown ash trees; a moated garden, once a rose garden then forgotten and now a spring garden; and the remnants of 18th century lime tree allées. The Victorian walled garden has a charming apple arch under-planted with red tulips, and antique goblet-shaped pear trees trained against a mellow brick wall.