We are a group of Product Design and Manufacture-students at the
University of Nottingham, and our latest group project brief is to
design an innovative rotavator. None of us have much experience with
this tool, or gardening in general, so we need to do some research on
the target audience for this product.. which is you!
Basically we need some general information on how often you use your
garden, where you store your tools, what you use your garden for, etc.
We have made a short, anonymous survey of 8 straight-forward questions
which we hope you will answer for us.
The more answers we get, the better we can design the product! :) We can
post up pictures of the final design when we are done (end of March) if
anyone are interested.
Link to the survey: 'Gardening Study' (http://tinyurl.com/7lc2xny )
Thank you for helping us!
No-till Gardening: Sustainable Alternative to the Rototiller
No-till or no-dig gardening is a method of preserving the natural
integrity of the soil. It preserves soil structure, promotes biological
activity, and preserves soil fertility. All of this is compromised by
cultivation. Here I will explore the Why¹ and How To¹ of No-Dig
³If we throw mother nature out the window, she comes back in the door
with a pitchfork.² Masanobu Fukuoka 
What is No-Dig Gardening?
Origins. The origin of no-dig gardening is sometimes attributed to
Australian writer and conservationist, Esther Deans  who outlined a
method of piling mulch over newspaper to prepare garden beds for
planting. The mulch suppresses weeds, conditions the soil, and invites
natural soil making processes. Others attribute the invention of no-dig
gardening to Japanese Microbiologist, Masanobu Fukuoka who advocated a
method of natural soil building in this book, The One-Straw Revolution
. The Permaculture movement, a world-wide organization promoting
natural gardening or no-dig techniques  embraces both Esther Deans
and Masanobu Fukuoka¹s work.
In the United States origins are more apt to be attributed to Ruth Stout
   who advocated fighting weeds by piling on a mulch of straw,
pine straw, leaves, and compost. The thicker the mulch, the greater was
the deterrent to weeds. Updated versions are Patricia Lanza¹s Lasagna
Gardening  and Lee Reich¹s Weedless Gardening.  No-Dig garden
writers are profiled in Shapiro and Harrisson¹s Gardening for the Future
of the Earth. 
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