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Soil Preparation for Vegetable Gardens


It cannot be stressed enough just how important good thorough soil preparation is. No dig gardening has been promoted by some people, but for the most of us the only way to do gardening properly is by digging the soil.


Autumn and Winter is the best time if possible. The vegetables that crop throughout the Winter and Spring, and even into early Summer do get in the way of proceedings, but we can't complain, as the vegetable garden is there to provide us with vegetables all the year.


Where long term crops prevent us from Winter digging then we just have to do it when the crop is cleared. It is not ideal, but neither is it such a problem. Just fork over the area when the crop is cleared in the Spring or Summer and plant or sow the next crop.


Autumn and Winter digging does provide the best chance for some really good serious digging. A time to double dig where needed and to get the manure or compost in well in advance of sowing and planting.


Even though it is important to do the job right and keep the ground level, there is no need to break down the soil. far better to use a spade and leave the ground lumpy. Winter weather will have a greater surface area to work on this way and in the Spring the soil can be knocked down to a tilth, without any need for more forking.


Where Lime is required to raise the pH then Autumn is the best time. After digging, spread the lime over and leave on the surface to wash in. Lime only ground which is not having manure added. It is important not to mix the two.







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