Monday, April 1, 2013

How to Double Dig a Garden Bed

Here is the process we did to double dig our garden bed.
Here is the first row dug of our garden bed. Notice the cover crop. Allow 2-4 weeks for your cover crop to breakdown before planting.
1. Dig out the first row one shovel blade deep and place the soil in a wheel barrow. Use a garden fork to break up the subsoil in the trench.
Here is the first row of soil from the garden bed.
2. Place amendments at the bottom of the trench you forked.
I amended this bed with sulphur and gypsum to bring down the pH and some Rabbit manure for fertilizer
3. Turn the soil from the second row on top of the first row you amended. Repeat breaking up the subsoil with the garden fork and amending and turning the next row on top of your amended trench and so on down the line.
This is the second row that has been forked and amended, ready for row three to be turned on top.
 4. When you have forked and amended the last trench, use the soil from the first row you placed in the wheel barrow to fill the last trench.
Here is the whole bed turned.
We added a fence around the bed to keep the wee ones from unripe picking sprees and trampling rampages.
We reclaimed the wood for these fence posts, along with many more, from the dump for two bucks! We weaved some of the green branches I recently pruned from the apple trees in and out of the posts to make a nearly free fence.

Double digging is especially important where you are planting root crops to aerate the soil so the root veggies don't have a hard time going straight down into the soil. We planted one row of beets, three of orange carrots, three of scarlet carrots, and three of Harris Model parsnips.

Happy gardening from the Intentional Living community! Feel free to comment, post pictures and descriptions of what Intentional Living projects you are doing on our Facebook page