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To dig or not to dig?

March 13th, 2007 by Karsten

The question of whether or not to dig over an allotment plot is a source of great debate among allotmenteers - almost always dividing young from old - where the older plotholders are die-hard diggers who digs (or rotavates) without fail every winter/spring.

The younger plotholders in many cases opt for the no-dig system of raised beds, that will only need a good forking over to break up any clods and capping, because they avoid walking on the soil. This ensures that the structure of the soil isn’t ruined, and that it isn’t compacted.

I’m not that old (35) - yet I’ve opted for digging over my plot - and for a number of reasons:

  • My plot was severely overgrown last year - suggesting that nothing has been done to it for a long time - so I need to improve the structure of the soil.
  • To help in improving the soil - I need to encourage micro organisms and worms to come back - which is done by feeding them loads of organic matter.
  • The addition of organic matter also adds much needed nutrients to the soil.

Tomorrow I’ll tell you more about digging techniques, and tell you how I’ve chosen to dig my plot this year.

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