Whatever state your plot or garden is in, at some point you will need to do some digging.
Digging will open up compacted soil and aerate it, allowing you to remove weeds and giving you the opportunity to mix some organic matter that will best enrich the soil.
This involves digging the ground to a depth of two ‘spits’ (2 spades deep, first with a spade, then with a fork). It is very hard work but in most cases you will only ever have to do this once. Double digging is usually carried out on new ground, or ground that has not been cultivated for a long time. If you take over a recently cultivated plot or garden this is unlikely to be necessary.
- Dig a trench to the depth and width of a standard spade, shovelling the contents into a wheelbarrow as you go along. Remove all weeds from the soil.
- Then, loosen the remaining soil in the trench with a fork. Add manure at this stage if you need to.
- Dig a second trench, alongside putting the topsoil into the first, and repeat the process.
Finally, when you reach the end of the bed, tip the topsoil that is in the wheelbarrow from the first trench back in.