Posted: 27/08/2014 at 11:14
I am glad to hear that I am not the only one to dig a full spit deep as everyone on my allotment site seems to only dig the top 3 inches or so, I put this down to either they are worried about digging into the subsoil, they are worried about forming a sump, they are concerned about unearthing long buried weed seeds or they are just plain lazy. Last winter I dug my plot as usual turning the soil over leaving it in as large clods as I could so that the frosts could break it down but the frost failed to arrive, this meant that by spring I had to break the soil up by hand also with all the rain I am afraid that a lot of nutrient was washed out of the soil. This year I have started to dig over the ground as I remove the crops and will shortly be adding some green manure in the form of tares which will be dug into the soil next spring this I am told will fix the nutrients in the soil so that the rains can't wash it away. As for animal manure I always thought that it was a good source of adding nutrient to the soil but now understand that while it may improve the structure of the soil most of the nutrient is lost in the rotting down process, add to this the possibility of importing weed seeds or worse still herbicide to my plot I have decided to go down the compost and green manure route.