[permaculture] Multiple digging without so much work.

E. E. Mitchamore Jr emitch at att.net
Wed May 31 07:10:32 EDT 2006

OK, so if I'm not going to double-dig, is there anything else of value in Jeavons' book?   I can't keep up with reading, either, but don't want to miss anything.

E. E. "Mitch" Mitchamore
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Loren Davidson 
  To: permaculture 
  Sent: Tuesday, May 30, 2006 9:26 PM
  Subject: Re: [permaculture] Multiple digging without so much work.

  At 9:50 PM -0400 5/30/06, Keith Johnson wrote:
  >Jeavon's book entered my gardening library 31 years ago. Ruth 
  >Stout's mulch books were my first. I did them both....a lot.... and 
  >now for the last 20 years I don't double dig, or even dig, if I can 
  >avoid it.

  I'm with Keith on this.

  I've done my share of double-digging in the past. Somewhere along the 
  line, I think I figured out why the Brits call this "bastard 
  trenching." :)

  These days, unless I'm planting something like a tree or shrub, I 
  don't dig. I try to follow the Pc principle of "letting Nature do the 
  work.) For a quickie garden bed, I'll put down a layer of cardboard 
  or newspaper, cover with several inches of compost, and just plant my 
  seeds or transplants into the compost. I'll usually make a cut in the 
  paper/cardboard below each plant. When I have time to plan ahead, 
  I'll build a sheet mulch bed, let it rot for 3-6 months, and then 
  plant into that. I like Toby's sheet mulch recipe from _Gaia's 
  Garden_; it really *is* bulletproof.

  If I'm planting into heavy clay, I usually fork into the soil before 
  layering stuff on top of it, just to provide some starter holes for 
  roots. I don't dig, I don't turn or lift the soil with the spading 
  fork; I just wiggle it into the ground with my weight on it and pull 
  it out again. Once I've done this, I let the plant roots and the 
  worms and other detritivores start mixing my layers of stuff with the 
  underlying soil.

  Now if only I had a no-dig solution for my shrubs and trees...

  Loren Davidson listmail at lorendavidson.com
  Music with tropical attitude - http://www.lorendavidson.com
  "There's just too much to see waiting in front of me, and I know
  that I can't go wrong" - J. Buffett
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