Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1   Report Post  
Old 28-02-2010, 05:19 PM posted to rec.gardens
external usenet poster
 
First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Jan 2010
Posts: 235
Default Is Double Digging Worth All The Extra Effort?


Many gardening sites recommend double digging especially when starting a
new garden bed. Sounds like a whole lot of work but I'm no stranger to
hard work! Think I'll give it a try this year even though some claim
it's worth the extra effort while still others claim it really has very
little advantage to the average home gardener. My thoughts are based on
the fact that the root system is the heart of any plant. Take good care
of the root system and the plant should get a great start in it's new
home. My plan is to remove the first foot of soil with a spade and then
use a spading fork. I'll thrust the fork down another ten to twelve
inches and rock it back and forth to loosen the sub soil. After the
whole plot is double dug, I'll then rototill the bed, add some slow
release organic fertilizer and rake it into the top 3" of soil. I only
plan to double dig once. After that, hopefully the earth worms
combined with the addition of compost will to the job for me in the
future. I have a lot of leaf mold from last fall to mix in also. If I
get tomatoes the size of basketballs, I'll then know that double
digging wasn't all in vain........LOL

Rich


  #2   Report Post  
Old 28-02-2010, 06:51 PM posted to rec.gardens
external usenet poster
 
First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,029
Default Is Double Digging Worth All The Extra Effort?

On 2/28/10 9:19 AM, EVP MAN wrote:

Many gardening sites recommend double digging especially when starting a
new garden bed. Sounds like a whole lot of work but I'm no stranger to
hard work! Think I'll give it a try this year even though some claim
it's worth the extra effort while still others claim it really has very
little advantage to the average home gardener. My thoughts are based on
the fact that the root system is the heart of any plant. Take good care
of the root system and the plant should get a great start in it's new
home. My plan is to remove the first foot of soil with a spade and then
use a spading fork. I'll thrust the fork down another ten to twelve
inches and rock it back and forth to loosen the sub soil. After the
whole plot is double dug, I'll then rototill the bed, add some slow
release organic fertilizer and rake it into the top 3" of soil. I only
plan to double dig once. After that, hopefully the earth worms
combined with the addition of compost will to the job for me in the
future. I have a lot of leaf mold from last fall to mix in also. If I
get tomatoes the size of basketballs, I'll then know that double
digging wasn't all in vain........LOL

Rich


Since you are planning on using a rototiller anyway, I would use it
instead of spading.

Rototill the surface to the depth of the tines on a spading fork,
working the entire area. Then, using a spade or even a shovel, remove
the tilled soil along a "path" the length of the area but only the width
of one pass of the rototiller, piling the soil on an adjacent untilled
area. Use the rototiller in the resulting trench. Remove that tilled
soil, placing it next to the soil already removed.

Then move the tilled soil (first pass) from the adjacent area into the
bottom of the first trench, stirring superphosphate or bone meal into
it. Use the rototiller in that second trench. Then move the tilled
soil from the bottom of that trench onto the top of the first trench.
Work your way across the area until you have a final trench.

Move the piled soil from the first tilling of the first trench to the
bottom of the last trench, remembering to work some form of phosphorus
into it. Finally move the piled soil from the second tilling of the
first trench to complete the filling of the last trench.

This is called double spitting, a "spit" being the depth of the tines of
a spading fork. You can even do this while tilling deeper than one
spit. This moves the surface soil down below and brings lower soil to
the surface. You will find that the results will last many, many years.
However, you will find that the surface of the soil becomes higher than
it was.

If you wish to add amendments (e.g., compost, peat moss), do so during
the second pass of the rototiller. The results will then be in the top
layer of soil after all the moving is done. A smaller amount of
amendments can be applied during the first pass, but that will not be as
beneficial.

The reason for placing bone meal or superphosphate into the bottom spit
is that phosphorus tends not to dissolve and travel through the soil.
Thus, it needs to be placed where roots will find it. Mixed thoroughly
into the soil of the bottom spit, there will be some at the boundary
between the top and bottom spits for young or shallow-rooted plants.

If your soil is heavy clay, broadcast a generous amount of gypsum on the
surface before the first pass of the rototiller. After the first pass,
water the area thoroughly and then allow it to dry somewhat. Then
repeat the first pass. You don't want to till any soil that is wet. In
particular, clay soil should be only slightly moist; otherwise, you will
make the soil structure worse, not better.

--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
Sunset Zone: 21 -- interior Santa Monica Mountains with some ocean
influence (USDA 10a, very close to Sunset Zone 19)
Gardening diary at http://www.rossde.com/garden/diary
  #3   Report Post  
Old 28-02-2010, 08:37 PM posted to rec.gardens
external usenet poster
 
First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Jan 2010
Posts: 235
Default Is Double Digging Worth All The Extra Effort?


Thank you David for some very good and detailed information
............ Rich

  #4   Report Post  
Old 28-02-2010, 11:56 PM posted to rec.gardens
external usenet poster
 
First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,029
Default Is Double Digging Worth All The Extra Effort?

On 2/28/10 12:37 PM, EVP MAN wrote:

Thank you David for some very good and detailed information
........... Rich


You're welcome. I only wish I knew all this before I planted my own
garden some 36 years ago. Today, I do the equivalent but for each
planting hole I dig. What a pain!!

--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
Sunset Zone: 21 -- interior Santa Monica Mountains with some ocean
influence (USDA 10a, very close to Sunset Zone 19)
Gardening diary at http://www.rossde.com/garden/diary
  #5   Report Post  
Old 01-03-2010, 01:45 PM posted to rec.gardens
external usenet poster
 
First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Jan 2010
Posts: 235
Default Is Double Digging Worth All The Extra Effort? (Charlie)


I think what your trying to tell me is NOT to double dig a garden. I
was only going to double dig it the first time as I only have about a
foot of top soil before I hit heavy clay. I kind of thought if I open
up this clay that it may help with drainage in the garden. I also
considered just double digging each planting hole when I set my plants
out rather than the entire bed.

Rich



  #6   Report Post  
Old 01-03-2010, 04:57 PM posted to rec.gardens
external usenet poster
 
First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,029
Default Is Double Digging Worth All The Extra Effort? (Charlie)

On 3/1/10 5:45 AM, EVP MAN wrote:

I think what your trying to tell me is NOT to double dig a garden. I
was only going to double dig it the first time as I only have about a
foot of top soil before I hit heavy clay. I kind of thought if I open
up this clay that it may help with drainage in the garden. I also
considered just double digging each planting hole when I set my plants
out rather than the entire bed.

Rich


Double digging will put the top soil under the clay and break up the
clay. That will indeed improve drainage. A generous application of
gypsum annually will also help.

If you are planting vegetables, the result should last about 10 years or
more. If you are planting a lawn, shrubs, and trees, you will only have
to do this once; those "permanent" plants will quickly send roots down
and continue the process.

--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
Sunset Zone: 21 -- interior Santa Monica Mountains with some ocean
influence (USDA 10a, very close to Sunset Zone 19)
Gardening diary at http://www.rossde.com/garden/diary
  #7   Report Post  
Old 01-03-2010, 05:36 PM posted to rec.gardens
external usenet poster
 
First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Nov 2009
Posts: 152
Default Is Double Digging Worth All The Extra Effort?

g'day rich,

it is a whole lot of work, and work that realy is not needed in this
enlightened age of raised bed gardening, we never dig, too easy.

here is a link to how we did our latest beds:

http://www.lensgarden.com.au/straw_bale_garden.htm



On Sun, 28 Feb 2010 12:19:46 -0500, (EVP MAN)
wrote:
snipped
--

len

With peace and brightest of blessings,

"Be Content With What You Have And
May You Find Serenity and Tranquillity In
A World That You May Not Understand."

http://www.lensgarden.com.au/
  #8   Report Post  
Old 01-03-2010, 08:12 PM posted to rec.gardens
external usenet poster
 
First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Jan 2010
Posts: 235
Default Is Double Digging Worth All The Extra Effort? (Len)


Greetings Len, The straw bale garden looks like a great idea to me!
Only problem is the fact that I live in town where we have mostly new
homes in a well manicured neighborhood. There isn't a doubt in my mind
that the city officials wouldn't allow straw bale gardens here! Perhaps
if we would bury the bales at ground level no one would notice them but
to do that we would have more work involved than double digging. If I
lived away from town in the rural area I sure would consider giving it a
try. Sure does look interesting

Rich

  #9   Report Post  
Old 04-03-2010, 04:11 PM posted to rec.gardens
external usenet poster
 
First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,004
Default Is Double Digging Worth All The Extra Effort? (Charlie)

the problem is that the drainage is only good in the area you double dig. it will
still be surrounded by heavy clay that will hold the water like a big "pot".

what my mother did was build up beds a foot or so with compost and rotting marsh hay
ala Ruth Stout. BTW, digging also kills worms which turn everything into lovely
soil. And there is the problem of digging brings weed seeds up to the top where they
will sprout. a raised bed warms up faster and can be planted faster in any case.
Ingrid


I think what your trying to tell me is NOT to double dig a garden. I
was only going to double dig it the first time as I only have about a
foot of top soil before I hit heavy clay. I kind of thought if I open
up this clay that it may help with drainage in the garden. I also
considered just double digging each planting hole when I set my plants
out rather than the entire bed.

Rich

Somewhere between zone 5 and 6 tucked along the shore of Lake Michigan
on the council grounds of the Fox, Mascouten, Potawatomi, and Winnebago
  #10   Report Post  
Old 04-03-2010, 04:23 PM posted to rec.gardens
external usenet poster
 
First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,004
Default Is Double Digging Worth All The Extra Effort?

I absolutely agree. raised beds with no digging is gentler and kinder to worms and
other beneficial critters and doesnt bring the weeds up to the surface. Ingrid

On Sun, 28 Feb 2010 19:54:07 -0500, wrote:
build raised
beds, sell the tiller on Craig's List and spend the money (AWA the rest
of your gardening life) in pursuit of organic compost. We grow veggies
in 7 nominally 3' x 8' raised beds. Five have a surface about 10"-12"
above the natural grade and the other two at least 8". We dug only the
areas where the beds actually are. If all of that digging was
beneficial, it was to remove native tree roots and retard their
intrusion into the garden.

Somewhere between zone 5 and 6 tucked along the shore of Lake Michigan
on the council grounds of the Fox, Mascouten, Potawatomi, and Winnebago


  #11   Report Post  
Old 04-03-2010, 04:26 PM posted to rec.gardens
external usenet poster
 
First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,004
Default Is Double Digging Worth All The Extra Effort?

my itty bitty back yard
http://weloveteaching.com/landscape/bkyd/backyard.htm
been trying to update including the new fruit trees.
the figs were loaded with both breba and fall crop, I just ate and ate and ate.
http://weloveteaching.com/landscape/figs/figgrove.htm
Ingrid
Somewhere between zone 5 and 6 tucked along the shore of Lake Michigan
on the council grounds of the Fox, Mascouten, Potawatomi, and Winnebago


Reply
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules

Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Peony seeds? Worth the effort? mogga United Kingdom 5 25-09-2010 10:36 PM
Outdoor peppers - worth the effort? David W.E. Roberts United Kingdom 1 05-02-2004 09:03 PM
Double Digging Dale McSwain Edible Gardening 5 07-12-2003 07:02 PM
Tilling - Double-Digging? Need Advice Joe98 Gardening 21 20-10-2003 11:02 PM
epic plants... Are they worth the extra money ?????? John Robertson Gardening 0 23-04-2003 04:44 AM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 07:46 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2004-2019 GardenBanter.co.uk.
The comments are property of their posters.
 

About Us

"It's about Gardening"

 

Copyright © 2017