NO DIG DownUnder

Courses 2018/19

A simple easy way to grow your own vegetables

Courses in growing nutritious vegetables

Held at Bungonia Creek in the Southern Tablelands

10.30am to 4pm, $100.  Includes refreshments, and a deliciou lunch from home-grown produce. 


Our courses are based, in most parts, on our own experience of being tree-changers here in the Southern Tablelands of NSW. Outside of Permaculture and Holistic Management, one of the key elements we discovered was a NO DIG method, promoted by Charles Dowding in the UK. We attended one of his courses when in the UK and have been incorporating his NO DIG techniques in our own garden with much success. All of our NO DIG DownUnder information was initially gleaned directly from Charles Dowding. You can look at this material on his website  -


You will learn about a range of permaculture growing options suited to your budget, interest, and demand, and all suited to your backyard - whatever the size. These techniques include NO DIG for soil gardens, wicking beds and Hugel Culture for those interested in low water usage, and Aquaponics for those interested in the ultimate in easy growing.


We start with the principles of NO DIG growing, how it saves so much time, and achieves results as good as, if not better than, growing in dug/tilled soil. You will see how to create a productive garden, even when a beginner, and how to minimise weeds.  Experienced gardeners will learn time-saving methods to increase the growth, productivity and health of their plants.


We attended one of Charles’s courses in July 2017 in the UK and were delighted with the day. Here is a comment on his NO DIG workshops which we will be emulating.


“Going to one of Charles Dowdings No-Dig Days completely changed my way of managing my allotment. I almost didn’t believe the results could be so good having read about it, l like to see things with my own eyes! Using cardboard mulched over with compost/well rotted manure was like having at least 2 extra pairs of hands keeping the weeds down. The cardboard was free from work, there are 3 of us now doing this on our site & in January the weed-covered plot next to me was taken over by another no-dig enthusiast!”


NO DIG DownUnder gardening will include:-

·      Understanding soil

o  Looking at the soil food web

o  Principles of the NO DIG method

o  Using mulches

·      Getting started – clearing grass and weeds by mulching rather than digging.

o   Making soil weed-free – a prerequisite to having time for creative work.

o   Different composts and manures - when and how to use them for best results.

o   Different ways of making compost, what ingredients work best. There is plenty to see in the heaps here!

  • ·         Sowing and propagation – directly in modules, pricked out, or into surface compost. We look at examples.

o   Seasonality and timing of sowing for strong, healthy, growth.

o   Energy influencers: the moon, biodynamic preparations.

  • Growing

o   Uses of frost cloth and shade cloth to speed growth and protect from pests.

o   Reducing slug numbers, protecting crops from other pests.

o   How and when to pick crops for healthier, long-lived plants.

o   Advice on polytunnels – size to use, orientation, and what to grow in them.


Low water usage gardening overview (Wicking beds and Hugel Culture) will include:-

·           Construction.

o  Building wicking beds and how they work

o  Building a Hugel Culture garden bed and how it works

·           Growing and watering in wicking beds.

o  Bed preparation

o  Planting and watering

o  Overwatering

·           Growing and watering with Hugel Culture.

o  Bed preparation

o  Planting and watering

o  Potential problems

Introduction to Aquaponics will include:-

·           Construction.

o  Using a greenhouse

o  Constructing the system

·           Growing in Aquaponics.

o  Types of suitable vegetables

o  Planting

o  Maintenance

There will be a more detailed examination of a selected topic (in line with the seasons) at each course. These topics could include “How to build a Wicking Bed”, composting, planning vegetables for the year / season, building an aquaponics system, etc.


We start at 10.30am, so please arrive a little before; and we finish around 4pm. The day includes an amazing lunch made from vegetables both stored and growing. Melissa creates a colourful range of dishes served with a local bakery’s sourdough bread made from freshly milled flour.


Course Dates (usually on the 2nd Saturday of each month)

 o   Sat 8th September 2018, 10:30am – 4pm. Planning your vegetables for the season. Planting seedlings

 o   Sat 13th October 2018, 10:30am – 4pm. Building Wicking & Hugel Kulture Beds

 o   Sat 10th November 2018, 10:30am – 4pm. Harvesting

 o   Sat 8th December 2018, 10:30am – 4pm. 2nd crops for summer/winter

 o   No course in January

 o   Sat 9th February 2019, 10:30am – 4pm. In depth look at Aquaponics

 o   Sat 9th March 2019, 10:30am – 4pm. Winter crops(3rd crop of the season)

 o   Sat 13th April 2019, 10:30am – 4pm. Composting and worm farms


In every course we will cover the complete NO DIG DownUnder subject with special attention to the seasonal activities relevant at that date.


Courses By Request


You can create your own course day at Bungonia Creek for any number, to a maximum of eight people, for $1000/day, with a similar format of 10.30am to 4pm and all refreshments provided.


Send an email to and we can discuss your requirements.


Terms and conditions


If you have already booked a course and wish to inform us of any dietary or other requirements, please email us at least 2 working days before the course date.


Please select from the below dietary requirements:


  • Vegetarian
  • Gluten intolerant
  • Nut intolerant
  • Serious food allergy, please specify




Friends and family are welcome to attend a course in your place, please provide us with the name and any dietary requirements.


We can offer transfers to an alternative course date, provided we have been given enough notice (and subject to availability).


Due to the limited number of places at our courses, we are unable to refund purchases unless you give enough notice to enable a resale. If you are unable to attend and let us know more than 4 weeks before the date, we will resell your place. In this case, we can offer you a refund, less 10% to cover time on admin and Paypal fees.


If we cancel a course:


If for any unforeseen circumstances we need to cancel a course, you will be contacted and given the option to transfer to another, or to receive a full refund of your payment.