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17 September 2014
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how to be a gardener - The complete online guide

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4 - Preparing the ground
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Alan diggingDigging
This is one of the most fundamental and hated of all gardening jobs, although chiropractors make a fortune from it! So, why should we do it? Digging helps to control annual weeds (when not in seed.) Turning them in to the soil (burying them) cuts out the need to compost them and allows perennial weeds to be extracted from the soil. Plus, digging can be incredibly satisfying and gives you time to think!
Digging ‘fluffs up’ the soil compacted (squashed down) by heavy wellies and rainfall. Fluffy soil contains air that plant roots need, drains more quickly, and is easier for roots to grow through the soil.
Tradition had it that the ‘only’ way to dig a new bed ‘properly’ was to double-dig it. This is incredibly hard work that you don’t need to do if you just want to grow ornamentals. Another name for it is ‘bastard trenching’, I’ll let you figure out why…
A better option is to find out how to dig.
Watch clipGet back to basics with this clip about how to dig.
4. Practical planting

Preparing the ground
 Improving your soil
 How to dig
Buying plants
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Get back to basics with this clip about how to dig:

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