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Double Dig, step 1: Learning the Spading Fork

1 April 2012

Before I read this book, I’d never seen or heard of a spading fork, and I certainly didn’t know how to use one.  But Jeavons provided a decent description in the book, and of course there are how-to videos on the internet for absolutely everything.  The goal is to loosen the soil in preparation for the rest of the double dig.  It was more difficult than all the guides and videos I consulted, but the spading fork definitely did the job, though I found I had to modify the technique a bit to break up the wire grass roots.  I do wonder if a broadfork would be better for this step in this garden, due to the high clay content of the soil and the wire grass.

Basically, I would insert the spading fork into the ground, lever it backwards and forwards to break the soil, remove the fork, insert it into the center of the clod I just loosened, and rotate the fork to break up the roots.  I repeated this in a linear pattern over the entire bed.

A two minute video of my technique.

I’m sure I could be doing this more efficiently.  I may try a broadfork for the second bed, but I want to finish this one before considering other ideas.

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