Double Digging – how to do it..

Person Author: Gavin Conway Calender December 9, 2012 Posted Tags: Comment No Comments

Digging is best done in the autumn as it gives time for the soil to be broken down by frost. But if the weather conditions don’t allow – early spring will be fine.. Incorporate a layer of good manure or home made compost when you dig. All this organic matter will help improve your soil and encourage worms and micro organisms to work their magic on their plot. By double digging you also dump most of the weed seeds that are on or near the surface right to the bottom of the trench as you turn the soil over, which in most cased will kill them as its too deep for them to grow. But alas they will be back from nowhere to haunt you again!!

There’s no doubt about it – digging is hard work – so it’s important that you know your limits. Start off slow and your body muscles will soon tone up.. To make it more of an enjoyable job, it’s better to do it over a period of time. A bit each time you go to the plot soon adds up and you will find that as you get used to it you can do more each time.

Here is a basic way to double dig. You will almost certainly have to do it at least once when you make a new bed or I would suggest you do your whole plot if you can manage.

  1. Firstly you must dig a trench to a depth of at least two spade depths.  This is about 18” deep and about 12” wide, saving the soil to use later on.
  2. Fork over the bottom of the first trench to loosen up the subsoil. Add manure to the bottom of the trench or it can be added before you start as a layer on the top.
  3. Then dig another trench behind the first one, turning that soil into the first trench as you dig.
  4. Repeat 1 – 3 until the whole plot is dug filling in the final trench with the soil from the first trench.


( p.s. this is not my drawing – it is one I found on the tinternet)

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