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Can you dig it?

In our back garden, there were way too many roots to properly prepare the soil using a process known as Double Digging. Instead, we either built raised beds, or just simply loosened the soil using a pitch fork. Neither option was particularly successful, because the soil still wasn't loose enough for roots to effectively grow. Out front, we've employed this wonderful Double Digging method, which seem to have really loosened up our soil. The process goes something like this:

Mark out the area to be dug. We like to go around the edges with a shovel to break up any roots that may trail into the new bed. Dig your first trench at the edge of the bed, putting the soil aside in a wheelbarrow. Loosen the soil in the bottom of the trench with a digging fork.

Dig another trench behind the first one, dumping this dirt into the first trench. Break up any big chunks. 

If there's any roots or anything in the dirt, pull em out. We also found oyster shells, a Tabasco bottle, and an empty jar of spaghetti sauce.

After loosening this new trench with a digging fork, repeat the process. It's kind of slow going, but we try to split up the work. Taylor digs, and I go behind him loosening the soil. Each of our new beds is 3.5 feet by 20 feet, and they take about an hour to do. 

When you're done, you'll have a big raised line of dirt. Use a rake to smooth this out a little bit. We're also going to add compost, and mulch everything with a fine layer of hay. This brings us up to almost 600 square feet of gardening space, which is pretty much awesome.


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