Wow. I decided this year to follow the Jeavons method (discussed here) of double-digging my garden bed. I’ve seen several people say that double-digging isn’t good for the soil (here is an example but you have to read in to the comments a bit) but I’m not sure how the way Jeavons does it would harm either the soil structure or the microbial life in the soil as his method specifically was designed to prevent that. You keep everything at the same level it was original so I’m not sure how it destroys anything.
At any rate I did some of it today, about a quarter of one bed, and damn am I hurting right now I need to get in better shape and I suspect more of this digging will get me there fast. I only had enough time to dig to get the lettuce in but that was the stuff that was looking really bad in my start flats in the basement. I was correct though and the roots were wrapping all around the inside of the containers. At least I learned quickly about the technique so by the third trench I was going much faster. I suspect the next time I dig it won’t take quite so long.
I got two rows of the Romaine mix and two rows of the Butterhead mix from Cook’s Garden in, the rest went to my Mom since I didn’t have the time or energy to dig another trench or two. Following Jeavons I planted them on 9″ centers in his hexagonal pattern. I know from experience last year that getting stuff in nice and tight definitely helps keep the weeds down.
I also learned why the carrots I tried planting last year never grew worth a damn. The ground was simply far too compacted. I suspect this year will be different.