Cultivating the Soil

Cultivating the Soil

Cultivating the soil by digging or forking is an essential step in producing successful long-term plant growth. It aerates the soil and breaks up any hard clumps or crusts, thus improving both soil structure and drainage. Digging and forking can make it easy for the gardener to remove perennial weeds and bury annual ones. Cultivation is also the perfect time to add any soil improvers such as composts, fertilisers or organic mulches.

Single and double digging are the two most commonly used methods to prepare the soil for planting; however, in areas of established planting where there is little room to manoeuvre, forking and simple digging may be used instead.

Digging
Everything you need to know about the techniques of simple, single and double digging, along with a handy guide on how to dig without straining your back.
Forking
A look at how to turn and aerate soil using a garden or border fork.