Author Topic: Double digging  (Read 1653 times)

Double digging
« on: September 08, 2015, 02:35:43 pm »
Anyone know what weight of earth is involved in general? Obviously soil types vary but I am preparing a talk and one person double dug two acres annually and I would love to be able to quote a tonnage figure.

PH
Bees do nothing invariably.

Re: Double digging
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2015, 03:08:51 pm »
Got a small patch available? Measure & weigh, multiply up.
"A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Type-Writer Girl, 1897

Re: Double digging
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2015, 05:07:12 pm »
Yup I was hoping someone might have a formula but searching it it rather looks as if the weight method is the quick way.

A 7" wide spade lifted out 14 lbs approx 8" x 7" making the double spit 28 lbs. Ho huum... Sq root of 4840 is 69.5 making a total of 357 spits one way and 313 the other then times that by 28 and again by 2 as it seems this was done is spring AND autumn and I get a mind boggling back breaking total of 2793 tons for the two acres.

PH


Bees do nothing invariably.

Pancho

  • لَا أَعْبُدُ مَا تَعْبُدُونَ
Re: Double digging
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2015, 05:36:57 pm »
It's a waste of time anyway!

I just chuck goodness (in the form of manure / leaf mould) on top when I've harvested and let the worms to the rest. The simple act of harvesting - particularly spuds - gives it a good churn.

I was very pleased to discover that my idle gardening strategy apparently has a name - permaculture or no-dig gardening or something.

Re: Double digging
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2015, 05:53:44 pm »
LOL I am not advocating it I was working out what these guys did every year. And what they did produced enough extra cash to buy several houses so possibly some merit in the effort?

PH
Bees do nothing invariably.

Pancho

  • لَا أَعْبُدُ مَا تَعْبُدُونَ
Re: Double digging
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2015, 05:57:52 pm »
LOL I am not advocating it I was working out what these guys did every year. And what they did produced enough extra cash to buy several houses so possibly some merit in the effort?

PH

I presume it was a gold mine they were turning over rather than a veg patch, then!

Re: Double digging
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2015, 02:20:46 pm »
It's a waste of time anyway!

I just chuck goodness (in the form of manure / leaf mould) on top when I've harvested and let the worms to the rest. The simple act of harvesting - particularly spuds - gives it a good churn.

I was very pleased to discover that my idle gardening strategy apparently has a name - permaculture or no-dig gardening or something.
Yeah. My potato patch just needed raking back into roughly level.

Got a few sacks of leaf mould & a bin of compost ready to spread, & another bin to mature over winter & provide a toad hibernation refuge.
"A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Type-Writer Girl, 1897

Re: Double digging
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2015, 07:36:33 am »
Yup I was hoping someone might have a formula but searching it it rather looks as if the weight method is the quick way.

A 7" wide spade lifted out 14 lbs approx 8" x 7" making the double spit 28 lbs. Ho huum... Sq root of 4840 is 69.5 making a total of 357 spits one way and 313 the other then times that by 28 and again by 2 as it seems this was done is spring AND autumn and I get a mind boggling back breaking total of 2793 tons for the two acres.

PH

If I did calculation metrically:

2 acres is just under 1 ha , ie 8 000 m2.

Depth soil removed (two spade depths ie 16" ) is 0.4m, so total volume dug out over entire plot  is 3200 m3

let`s estimate soil @ 2gm /cc ie 2 tonnes / m3 (ie roughly twice density water)

So this calculation method gives a weight of soil removed as 6 400  tonnes  ::-) ::-) ::-) ::-) per double dig session
....after the `tarte de pommes`, and  fortified by a couple of shots of limoncellos,  I flew up the Col de Bavella whilst thunderstorms rolled around the peaks above

Re: Double digging
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2015, 07:02:43 am »
I do my double digging with a digging fork.
First fork-depth is lifted / shifted to the just-dug adjacent area (this applies in the middle, not the first fork-width of digging)
Next fork-depth is lifted / stirred / dropped back where it came from.
Repeat as necessary.

"man's landslide shepherding", or something like that.

So I really only move the soil around; not a lot of picking up of the soil.

Helps loosen things up deep for carrots and parsnips.

Re: Double digging
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2015, 11:47:40 pm »
Double digging the chiropractors seasonal friend
" One Cup Of Tea Is Never Enough But 2 Is One Too Many " - John Shuttleworth

Re: Double digging
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2015, 01:21:00 pm »
I do my double digging with a digging fork.
First fork-depth is lifted / shifted to the just-dug adjacent area (this applies in the middle, not the first fork-width of digging)
Next fork-depth is lifted / stirred / dropped back where it came from.
Repeat as necessary.

"man's landslide shepherding", or something like that.

So I really only move the soil around; not a lot of picking up of the soil.

Helps loosen things up deep for carrots and parsnips.
I grow daikon (AKA mooli), which grows bigger & goes deeper than any carrot or parsnip I've seen except freaky ones grown for competitions. It seems utterly unbothered by my failure to double-dig.
"A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Type-Writer Girl, 1897

fboab

  • It's a fecking serious business, riding a bike
Re: Double digging
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2015, 04:35:25 pm »
Depends what kind of soil you've got and what it used to be whether you need to bother.
An allotment that's been an allotment for decades doesn't need it.
My used-to-be-pasture in Aberdeenshire did, even though it was on a free draining alluvial plain.

TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

Re: Double digging
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2015, 03:18:35 pm »
It's been an allotment since about 1940. There's a layer of stone-filled clay under it, & digging into that is pointless. It keeps on going. Above that (a fork depth down in places, but mostly more) the soil's loose enough for daikon etc. without deep digging.

Previous tenant had put some raised beds in, I presume to deal with that problem. I repaired 'em (skip timber & some old roof timber donated by a builder rather than putting in his skip), raised 'em a little (they'd sunk in a bit), & keep topping 'em up with compost, leaf mould, & any other organic material I can get hold of.
"A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Type-Writer Girl, 1897

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Double digging
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2015, 05:48:33 pm »
It's been an allotment since about 1940. There's a layer of stone-filled clay under it, & digging into that is pointless. It keeps on going. Above that (a fork depth down in places, but mostly more) the soil's loose enough for daikon etc. without deep digging.

Previous tenant had put some raised beds in, I presume to deal with that problem. I repaired 'em (skip timber & some old roof timber donated by a builder rather than putting in his skip), raised 'em a little (they'd sunk in a bit), & keep topping 'em up with compost, leaf mould, & any other organic material I can get hold of.

That's exactly what I've done.  Veggie patch is relegated to the soggy end of the garden with a spades depth of compost/soil over fenland clay.  I put in raised beds this year which have worked wonders and I generate a cu.m per year of compost to top them up.
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Aunt Maud

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Re: Double digging
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2015, 06:01:16 pm »