Visit with Charles Dowding July 2019

This month, I had the absolute pleasure of visiting Home Acres, the market garden created by Charles Dowding, that I have spent many hours looking at on You Tube videos as he is a prolific teacher of growing vegetables using the No Dig principle and has written many excellent books on the subject.

Wandering around the garden was such a treat as it is so well laid out, neat, and the produce looks so healthy. He was also kind enough to share with me some fabulous tips for beginner market gardeners like myself. You can watch the video below-

What I really liked about the garden is that it is very productive, and yet he has planted in small blocks of crops scattered around the garden. This makes the garden look more appealing and also helps keep the pest pressure down. Other farmers that I have been watching like Curtis Stone, Jean Michel Fortier, and others, all seem to do long rows of one product, which in many cases needs to be netted.

The way I am planning Wild Nettle Gardens is very much less regimented, combining different plants in the same bed, more like nature would do.

I did learn a lot from seeing how Charles had developed the garden – the different aspects made it very pleasant to wander around.

He was also kind enough to send me on my way with a huge bag of salad, that I have shared with several friends. It was delicious and lasted for ages.

If you have not discovered Charles’ work yet, look for him on You Tube. There are hours and hours of videos discussing all aspects of growing tasty, healthy food for yourself. He has also written several books and runs courses, with in Somerset and around the country.

This month also saw the first bunch of flowers that I had grown which I gave to my godmother who is 90. She has always had beautiful flowers adorning her home and even was a fabulous flower arranger herself. I was so pleased to be able to offer my first ever bunch to her, and she seemed to be pleased!

Here is a picture, and I can see I need to take a class in flower arranging myself!

We are still looking for the land, which is proving harder to find than we had thought, so that is our number one priority right now.  The plants are all growing comfortably in their pots- although I am sure some are groaning, having been in pots for almost a year- this was not our plan but for now, this is where we are.

As soon as we find the land, it will be a mad rush to get the plants into the ground before winter and the beds built. We would still be able to plant some crops this year, depending on when we move in.

How is your garden or gardening project going? What are you most interested in?

Thank you for reading this and happy gardening always!


Caroline from Wild Nettle Gardens.

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