how to dig a garden spot

June 17, 2010

hello dear ones! i’m giving caroline a little break this week to tell you about my own garden!  since last year i used the square foot garden method, this was the first time that i actually dug a garden spot so that i could plant right in the yard.  i wanted to maintain organic methods, so i called up caroline up and she walked me through the whole process, she’s such a sweetheart!  so today i’m going to teach you how to dig your very own garden spot!  we used the organic friendly ‘double digging’ method, and though it’s a lot of work, i highly recommend it.

how to dig a garden spot

i started off by choosing the right spot.  i knew i would only be planting veggies, so i made sure it would get full sunlight and be easy to get to water, weed and harvest.  some of my favorite advice i’ve read is to place your veggie garden as close to your kitchen door as possible, that way you’ll see it everyday and be more likely to weed and check up on it routinely.

once you choose your spot, mark it off with stakes at the corner and some twine.  my spot above is about 18’x8′.

then, if it’s a grassy area, you’ll have to remove the top layer of grass (i’m not gonna lie, it’s pretty terrible, but it only took about 2 hours and then it was done, whew!).  use a shovel to dig just under the top layer of soil and work your way in rows.  you’ll most likely have to use your shovel in both directions of a row before the grass will release, but once you’ve loosened underneath it, it will peel up like carpet.

now it’s time to double dig! working in rows, you’ll use your shovel to dig and break up the first layer of soil.  then, you’ll go back with a pitch fork to ‘double dig’ the harder, second layer of dirt.

i learned how to double dig by watching this video (recommended by caroline), so rather than try to thoroughly explain, i’ll just recommend watching it (it’s only 5 minutes, plus the guy is pretty easy on the eyes). ;)

if your soil is a little clumpy after double digging (like mine) break it up as best you can with a rake or pitch fork.  then, you may want to mix in some organic compost to the top soil (i used organic mushroom and fully composted manure on mine).

next your ready to plant! plant your seedlings according to package instructions and give your garden a good watering.

your next step will be to mulch around  your new plants to help retain moisture and prevent some weed growth.  there are many mulches to choose from, but i used straw (just make sure it’s been cleaned or else you’ll be planting grass!).

it’s hard work, but with my ipod and a glass of lemonade i was able to get it all done in one day.  and hey, i got my work out in!

planting vegetables in your garden

so it’s been about a month since i planted everything, and all my veggies are starting to grow so well! above you can see (clockwise) my apples, squash, asparagus, grapes, pears and one wee tomato sprouting already!  i can’t wait to harvest all these yummies, i’m planning for a long, productive summer full of harvesting, freezing and canning.

garden bugs and slugs

on a final note, the garden has become quite the hang out for bugs, slugs and the like.  just as longs as they don’t eat my veggies, i’ll enjoy watching them!

feel free to email me with any questions or leave them in the comment box, and either me or caroline will get back to you!  xoxo! bonnie

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7 comments

comments

  • Thank you for posting this! I think alot of people would benefit from having their own veggie garden – it’s a great hobby to have and super rewarding! My husband & I have been organic gardening for several years now and just expanded our gardens with an additional 20×25 foot veggie patch! We live in Florida so we won’t be planting anything until the fall but we’re sooo excited!

  • jenn bronson | June 17, 2010

    Beautiful! Great job!

  • Oh this looks great! It’s so nice to see the pictures and I’m so very very proud of you for all the hard work you put in to this!

  • nice work! a few neighbors and I do a veggie garden together…they plant, I weed!

    question: I have something eating the leaves and new buds of one of my pansies and one of my dianthus in my small flower garden…guessing they are slugs since I can’t see them during the day (better go out one night to see if I can spot ‘em!)…anyway, read to put epsom salt around the plants…did it today…think it’ll work? any other tips?

  • nevermind my question :)
    went to the local landscaper today b/c the epsom salts did NOT work AND I caught one of the little buggers this morning…at the other end of the garden! anyway, she is ordering me “sluggo” – said it is safe for kiddos and pets! hope it does the trick…

  • hi love! eeks! so sorry to have sent you to the landscaper! i copied these over to caroline and she’ll probably be back to us by the end of the day. i’ll keep in touch!

  • oh my, don’t be sorry! :)

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