Monday, November 4, 2013

Double Digging

Double digging your garden beds will pay dividends for decades. Double digging means going 24 to 36 inches deep with a potato fork or other flat tined fork. You incorporate compost and fertilizer as you dig. In my opinion this is the Cadillac of gardening approaches.

You can find the complete method in John Jeavens, "How to Grow More Vegetables". If you don't want to purchase a copy (which is highly recommended) the library has several.  When I was gardening on a much smaller scale I double dug all our beds. I would do 8-10 of the 100 square foot beds a year until I eventually had dug about a 10,000 square feet or about 1/4 of an acre.

I made my own digging board and a broad fork about two feet wide for bed maintenance. I still have the fork that was cut and welded by hand. My brother then painted it a metallic grey with some left over base coat and clear coat automotive paint. We should have done pin stripes.

I took several seminars from John Jeavens and found his approach quite thoughtful. I have binders full of his class notes. We used to correspond a little and he occasionally referred folks in this area to me for help getting started.

When ultra-blond Reed was three I sent a picture to John Jeavens of Reed stretching on tip toes to pick a cherry tomato with an absolutely crystal clear blue sky in the back ground. He put it in their news letter that month. It was a great picture.

I wrote an article for John's new letter that I'll put in a future blog.

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