Thursday, 1 January 2015

Digging over

Today has been a day for digging over. The remains of the sweetcorn were still in the ground, so I uprooted these and then weeded and dug these areas of the allotment.

A lot is said in gardening books about digging over. To dig or not to dig seems to be the question that is raised a lot. Now, if you have permanent or raised beds then digging shouldn't be needed after the initial creation of the bed. Hoeing and weeding, yes, but for these, putting layers of compost or manure or your favourite mulch on the bed and leaving nature to do its work is the right way for these in my opinion. (Preparation of the bed is a different matter, digging out and putting in as much organic matter as possible)

For rotational beds, I always turn these over at a spit's depth (a spit being the length of a spade end) after hoeing thoroughly. I then scatter compost and/or manure onto the bed and let the worms do their work. The local blackbirds and robin take quite a keen interest in this activity and often are quite fearless - one year one female blackbird would even take worms from the hand! The birds will also hoover up grubs and caterpillars.

Manure - peas and beans, courgettes, pumpkins, potatoes, fruit bushes and trees.
Not roots as this encourages forking.

Compost - anything really - everything benefits! Although some vegetables need a richer soil than others, consult the seed packet.

Having just about dug over where I wanted to today, rain and wind stopped play!

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