I’m just a few weeks into my new no-dig gardening and I’m so far finding it very good. I certainly have fewer weeds to contend with. My other observation (which is only an initial observation and may still be proved wrong) is that I haven’t needed to water my veg seedlings as frequently as normal. They seem very happy with their beds and are getting enough moisture without being watered daily, even given that the past week has been really quite dry.
The soil in the rest of my garden, and in the flower beds is visibly dry on the surface, with cracks appearing, and I have had to regularly water in the new ornamental flowers that I’ve recently planted. However, where I have gone no-dig, the moisture seems to be retained. I think this is because I have quite a clay-like soil, and it dries out easily (it gets water-logged easily too!), but in the no-dig beds I now have a 5-6 inch layer of mulch on top. This is one of three things in my garden: 1. compost, 2. well rotted horse manure and 3. quite well-rotted wood chip (approx 2 years old – it is nice and crumbly but still fairly chunky). This last wood-chip mulch has been the only one that I have had to water more thoroughly, with the beans looking a little thirsty within a day or two. But the other beds with the manure and compost have only needed watering twice – once when I planted them out, and once more yesterday. In previous years, when I was planting straight into my dug over soil I was watering more or less daily in similar conditions. Let’s see how it goes..!