August 26, 2013

Double-digging Dividends

The big double dig is paying off! Back in October of 2012, I started a double digging project, inspired by reading John Jeavons' book How To Grow More Vegetables. The goal was to improve the soil in my garden beds and hopefully increase veggie production. It was a lot of work, and even though I knew I wouldn't see the results for many months, I opted to broaden my experiment and double dig several more beds.

Ten months later I can confidently say it was well worth it. The beds I worked using Jeavons' method are paying huge dividends now, in the form of super lush, healthy and productive plants. Take the pepper bed, for example.

Maddie in front of Gourmet pepper plants

This is the same bed pictured mid-dig in the post linked above. My daughter is standing in front of Gourmet variety bell pepper plants that are 5 1/2 feet tall from soil level to the top of the plant. These plants are absolutely loaded with big, beautiful (and tasty!) peppers. This is the third year we've grown this particular variety and never have the plants been this healthy and happy.

I might think it was a fluke except that the chard I planted in this bed in the fall right after double digging also grew ridiculously well and was much more productive and huge than any other chard I've ever grown.

3" chard rib is thick as a brick, literally

It's a lot of work, but I will definitely be double digging more garden beds this fall. I figure if I just do a few each year, eventually I will get the whole garden done. The payoff is just too great not to do it!


  1. This is rather interesting. Although I didn't read the book, nor read your first blog posting, we unknowingly did the "double dig" technique on our tomato garden this year. We dug down far, far, far deeper than we normally do, then loosened the soil at the bottom to add amendments like fish parts, aspirin, etc.

    Our tomato year this year was one of the best ever. I mean that with all my heart. It was really good.