Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Double Dug.

In the farming process I'm told that the preparation of the soil is the most important part. It's good then that we realized hidden only inches below the top soil on our land is a thick layer of solid red clay. The artist in me was glad to see an endless supply of clay to throw with but the new 'rural' me saw an issue with the growth of our soon to be veggies. Chap began the epic 'double-digging' technique for our crops. He tells me this step need only be done once but as he calculated the time it would take for him to dig the modest plot he came to a total of six months. Yikes. We may need to make it a group effort to speed up the process. Double digging is an old English technique. Farmers realized that if they dug deeper into the ground to turn up the soil the plants grew better. Obviously a tedious task as we soon learned when cutting through compacted clay. (Now we know why East Texans ditched this idea) We took off the top soil layer, then dug down one spades length while breaking up the clay, then using a fork we dug down another spades length and mixed the soil. Eventually Chap will add compost to the red soil and make it a little more black looking. Exciting beginning. Very tired arms. 

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