• Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

I like to dig my vegetable plot every winter/spring –  not only because it is good exercise at this time of year but also because it allows me to give the area a good clean up and prepare for the spring time.  It allows me to release any stress or anxiety that may have built up during a busy working week in the office.

Digging my garden

Digging my garden

Now you don’t have to dig your garden if you do not want to, particularly since it is now commonly acknowledged amongst experienced gardeners that as an alternative to digging you can mulch and cover your soil with compost or well rotted manure.  And you can just let the worms get on with the task of incorporating the organic matter into your soil.
Personally I prefer to dig my vegetable plot every winter because of the nature of my soil – heavy clay which benefits from being broken up and enriched regularly.

As I am writing this I realize that I am behind on my digging and currently I am still tackling the area where my squash, sweet corn and dwarf green beans were grown last year.
Naturally my faithful mascot – Fat ball Rob – will come and join me and seek any little worm which I have exposed in the process.

Obviously any arduous activity such as digging is always followed by a comforting cup of English tea and that’s me for the day!
Top TipMy top tip: if there has been a lot of rain recently it is best not to dig the ground not just because it will be messy (this has never stopped me!) but trampling over wet ground only compacts it further.

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2 Responses

  1. 1

    hi my name is jordan i am 15 years of age. I currently have my own alotment. Anyone know what seeds to sow?

  2. 2
    The Gardener 

    I find that winter and autumn aren’t the best seasons to start growing from seeds outdoors – usually the best time of the year is spring & summer.
    However there are a few things that you may still be able to grow like Broad beans. You will need to find varieties which are suitable for over-wintering such as Aquadulce.
    I think that some onion varieties can still be planted in autumn to over-winter and the same applies to garlic which is planted now and will survive well through winter.
    Also you may still be able to grow some green manure which is used to fertilize your soil as you dig it in the ground once it’s tall enough. It’s not a crop for food but it helps you with having a good soil which in turn will deliver good vegetables later in the year.
    Finally, I have recently planted a few strawberry plants and they seem to be settling well so hopefully they’ll be ready for cropping next year.
    In January I will start sowing seeds indoors which will be ready for late spring and I’ll plan to move them outdoors a bit later.
    A good idea right now is to take the opportunity to get your plot nicely dug up and clean, ready for spring. I hope this helps.
    Enjoy the gardening!

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