A raised bed, full of mature green compost with nod-dig gardening

How to Create Garden Beds Using the No-Dig Gardening Method

Have you ever looked at a gardening magazine and thought to yourself, “I could never have a garden that looks like that”? Well, you’re not alone. Creating a beautiful garden can be a lot of work.

But what if there was a way to create a beautiful garden without all the back-breaking digging? Enter the no-dig gardening method.

No digging icon. Shovel crossed over.
No digging icon

What is the No-Dig Gardening Method?

The no-dig gardening method is exactly what it sounds like. A method of creating garden beds without having to dig up your yard.

This method relies on layering various organic materials, such as compost, manure, and leaves, on top of your grass or soil to create fertile planting beds. Not only does this method save you from having to do any strenuous digging, but it also provides your plants with nutrients and helps to improve drainage.

The No-Dig Gardening Method

Creating garden beds using the no-dig gardening method is easy! Follow these simple steps:

1. The Right Area

Choose an area in your yard that gets at least six hours of sunlight per day. If you have a lawn, you can use a rotary tiller to kill the grass before starting. Otherwise, mark out your bed with string or flour so you know where to stop layering your materials.

2. Compost or Manure

Next, layer on about four inches of compost or manure. You can find these materials at your local nursery or garden center, or you can make your own compost at home.

It’s important to remember that when you’re layering on organic materials, you should avoid using anything that was treated with herbicides or pesticides. These chemicals can leach into the soil and harm your plants.

3. Adding an Additional Layer

Once you’ve added your compost or manure, add a layer of dead leaves, straw, or shredded newspaper. This step is important because it will help prevent the organic materials from compacting and will also help improve drainage.

4. Topping off Your Bed

Finally, top off your bed with two inches of mulch (such as wood chips or bark). This will help keep the soil moist and will also prevent weeds from growing in your bed.

5. Watering

Water your bed well and then let it sit for a few weeks so the materials can break down before planting anything in it.

And that’s it. Now you know how to create garden beds using the no-dig gardening method. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start layering.


The no-dig gardening method is an easy way to create beautiful garden beds without having to do any strenuous digging.

By layering organic materials on top of your grass or soil, you can provide your plants with nutrients and improve drainage. All without having to break a sweat.