Author Topic: make digging easier  (Read 6828 times)

GRACELAND

  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,135
make digging easier
« on: September 14, 2009, 14:22:05 »
                                      :) make digging easier :)

Digging can be very hard work and you can avoid the need for regular digging by making narrow ‘no-dig’ beds. Simply cover the bed with a thick mulch such as newspapers and then a thick top layer of manure or compost.  Worms and micro-organisms will help break the soil down and the mulch will help stop weeds growing.

Lay down a weed-suppressing membrane in permanent beds and plant through slits cut in the material.  Cover the membrane with a mulch such as bark or gravel.

Consider using raised beds and containers. These bring the soil off the ground, reduce the need for digging and make any digging that you have to do much easier. Find out more about raised beds
Keep your beds narrow so you don’t have to step on the soil to reach. Also, consider opting for 1-metre square beds - these will give an edge to dig inside and also make planting easier.

If your garden soil is heavy and clay based, any digging is best done in the autumn. This is because by the spring, the soil will have dried out and be very hard, which will make digging extremely difficult and physically demanding. Also, if you dig it over in the autumn and then leave the surface uneven over the winter, any frosty weather will help break up the soil even more. Dig in spring if you have a lighter soil - the ground will be warmer and much easier to work with.

Taking care
Digging can put a strain on your back, shoulders and arms. Always 'warm up' with a few gentle stretches before digging, keep your back straight and only work for short periods, to avoid strain.
Choosing a spade of the right length and weight will help you avoid some of the stresses and strains when digging.
and.............
Make sure you protect your feet and lower legs to avoid injury from sharp tools like forks and spades.   
i don't belive death is the end

Allotments 4 All

make digging easier
« on: September 14, 2009, 14:22:05 »

Flighty

  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,680
    • Flighty's Plot
Re: make digging easier
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2009, 15:29:41 »
Much of it comes down to following good advice like this and being sensible.
I also find that some days I'm simply not in the mood to do any digging but on others, like today, I did more than I intended to.
Your last line reminds of a gardening book I saw with some photos in it of someone digging in sandals! I emailed the publishers about it but never received a response.
Flighty's plot,  http://flightplot.wordpress.com,  is my blog.

I support the Gardening with Disabilities Trust, http://www.gardeningwithdisabilitiestrust.org.uk

GRACELAND

  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,135
Re: make digging easier
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2009, 15:30:36 »
yep if you overdo it you notice next day  :-[
i don't belive death is the end

Borlotti

  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,459
  • Enfield, north London
Re: make digging easier
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2009, 15:32:52 »
Make digging easier, get OH to do it for you and provide him with cups of tea and lots of praise about how strong he is.

daxzen

  • Half Acre
  • ***
  • Posts: 190
  • this is isaac he is my allotment troll
Re: make digging easier
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2009, 15:42:29 »
great advice here and good for the soil too

i love digging and it is very therapeutic

the key is to use a small spade or fork - less is more if you get my drift and once you get int a good rythm there is a gerat deal of satisfaction - its a form of meditation - you can  put he world to right sand get a gentle work-out - perfick

dax

macmac

  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,873
  • weston super mare
Re: make digging easier
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2009, 16:42:07 »
I'm not very good at digging I usually leave it to the OH who's got one of those very long handled spades to save his back -which did go on him once down the lottie two ambulances later...but that's another story.Does everyone put their foot to the right of the handle ?I always put mine to the left which most people find amusing,I'm inclined (get it )to topple if I do it the conventional way :)
sanity is overated

chriscross1966

  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,760
  • Visionhairy
Re: make digging easier
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2009, 17:19:38 »
I'm not very good at digging I usually leave it to the OH who's got one of those very long handled spades to save his back -which did go on him once down the lottie two ambulances later...but that's another story.Does everyone put their foot to the right of the handle ?I always put mine to the left which most people find amusing,I'm inclined (get it )to topple if I do it the conventional way :)

Are you Roman Catholic by any chance?

macmac

  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,873
  • weston super mare
Re: make digging easier
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2009, 18:22:12 »
Strangely enough.... ;D ;D ;D
Actually as my friends and family will testify I'm just odd ::)
sanity is overated

grawrc

  • Global Moderator
  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 6,583
  • Edinburgh
Re: make digging easier
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2009, 18:56:28 »
Me too MacMac. I generally use my left foot, but when I use my right one I don't fall over. Come to think of it I should use it more often since I have a wonky left knee and digging don't help too much!!

 

anything