The garden season is inevitably drawing to an end, summer flowers and vegetable patches have long since been cleared. For those who wish to create a new bed for the coming year, a lawn area must be dug up. Experts disagree as to the necessity of digging up the soil. Many think it is essential, others totally disapprove. If an unused garden area should be turned into a vegetable or flower bed or with very clayey and hardened soil, there is no way around digging.
Prepare compost or organic fertiliser
In the case that you want to improve your soil by using compost or organic fertiliser such as semi-decomposed autumn leaves, you should evenly distribute these over the area to be dug up before digging and they will be mixed in with the soil while you dig.
Deep digging for first new planting
When choosing a working tool, you can use either a spade or decide on a spading fork.
First, dig out a 3 – 3.5m long and two spade deep trench on one end of the planned bed. A second ground-breaking is recommend if the plot of land is being cultivated for the first time. Load the excavated soil into a wheelbarrow and bring it to the other end of the planned bed. Go back to the beginning and dig out a second trench in which the soil remains in the first trench.
Tip: Place each first layer of soil to the side and dig up the lower layer.
Continue using this technique, the so-called Trench-System, until you reach your desired bed size. Fill in the last trench with the soil first excavated.
To protect the soil from rain, heat, cold and wind, you could put down a final mulch layer of cut up plants, semi-decayed compost or leaves. Earthworms and other microorganisms will also benefit from this. Shortly before the planting, the surface is once again loosened with a rake or cultivator and compost worked in.