My mother, however, is an old-school gardener with a Finnish Lutheran work ethic, so when she helps out in my garden (yes, Lazivores like relatives to do the work for them!), she scoffs at my requests to not tread on the garden beds, and to avoid digging where possible. She seems to think that no-dig gardening is some kind of hippie nonsense.
Not so. In fact as mainstream farmers discover the benefits of giving up the plough, many gardeners are also learning that going easy on soil cultivation can promote soil biodiversity, reduce labor and improve fertility too.
Charles Dowding has been growing organic vegetables for over 30 years. And he's adamant that minimizing or avoiding digging—while top dressing with generous amounts of compost as mulch—can be a great strategy. But he also warns gardeners not to get too dogmatic. Digging can be a necessary evil from time-to-time.
Maybe I won't be too hard on my mum next time she comes to help...