Ex­pert ad­vice Win­ter dig­ging

RTÉ Guide - - Interiors -

This is a sea­sonal must-do job. Although it is la­bo­ri­ous (it is also called dou­ble dig­ging), it is the very best way to im­prove soil quality, es­pe­cially in a new plot or one that has been ne­glected for a long time. The best time to do it is dur­ing a dry mild spell; avoid dig­ging when the soil is very wet or frozen.

Dou­ble dig­ging not only breaks up com­pacted soil and helps drainage, but by in­cor­po­rat­ing lots of or­ganic mat­ter such as com­post or well-rot­ted ma­nure while you’re dig­ging, the soil’s fer­til­ity will be im­proved. You will see the dif­fer­ence in the quality and quan­tity of plants in the fol­low­ing sea­son, whether it’s in a flower border or a veg­etable plot.

Adding ridges at this time, es­pe­cially if the soil is heavy, cre­ates a larger sur­face area upon which cold weather will work to break it down and im­prove its quality.

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