How to Dig DfV 20

HOW TO DIG

How to Dig

DIG FOR VICTORY LEAFLET NUMBER 20 (NEW SERIES)

ISSUED BY THE MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE

  • Thorough digging is essential to success in gardening.
  • Don’t do too much at first. Half an hour to an hour is enough for a start.
  • Use a sharp spade. And keep it clean—while using it and when you put it away.
  • Always use pegs and string to mark off the ground to be dug, and to keep your work straight.

1 SIMPLE DIGGING WHERE THERE IS NO TURF

If the ground is more than 15 ft. wide, deal with one half at a time. Nick a line down the middle with a spade. Across the top of one half dig the first trench. Work down this half from top to bottom. Then work up the other half from bottom to top.

The first trench is 15 inches wide and as deep as the blade of the spade. Move the soil over to the other half ready to put in the last trench.

With a plot narrower than 15 feet, dig the trench right across the top and move the soil to the bottom end.

simple digging 1

1 To dig properly you must have an open trench like this in front of you. It is 15 inches wide and the depth of a spade. The soil from it has been put on the far side, ready to fill the last trench.

 

simple digging 2

2 The soil is turned into the open trench, a spadeful at a time. If each piece is made the width of the spade and cut off at right angles to the trench, it will be easier to lift.

 

simple digging 3

3 The spade must be driven in almost vertically, or the soil will not be dug deeply enough

 

simple digging 4

4 For each spadeful, the spade must be pressed down to its full depth. Use your foot to do the heavy work.

 

simple digging 5

5 Lifting a spadeful of soil. Notice how the digger has stepped backward with one foot.

 

simple digging 6

Twisting the spade to turn the soil over as it falls in the open trench.
Proceed in this way, a trench at a time, till the whole plot has been dug.

II. DIGGING GROUND COVERED WITH TURF
(BASTARD TRENCHING)

Mark out the first trench .2 ft. wide.

Skim off the turf 2 inches deep. Then take out the soil to the depth of a spade.

Move the turf and soil to the bottom, or to the far side if the plot is wide, ready to fill the last trench.

Bastard Trenching 1

1 Then break up the floor of the trench. Press the fork to its full depth with the help of your foot. Prise up the soil ; lift it clear ; twist the fork and let the earth fall back. Break up all lumps.

 

Bastard Trenching 2

2 Skim off the turf from the next 2 ft. wide strip. Place it grass-side down on the broken-up floor of the trench and chop it with the spade into pieces 3 or 4 inches across.

 

Bastard Trenching 3

3 Use the soil from the skimmed strip to bury the cut-up turf. Twist each spadeful over and let it fall. Keep the sides of the new trench vertical.

 

Bastard Trenching 4

4 Clear the ” crumbs ” or loose soil from the floor of the new trench before taking the turf from the next strip.
Proceed in this way till the whole plot has been skimmed and dug.

HOW TO PLAN YOUR GARDEN OR ALLOTMENT

Send for ‘ Dig for Victory’ Leaf­let No. I (new series), Grow for Winter as well as Summer.

This free leaflet shows you by means of a simple coloured crop­ping chart how you can have vegetables all the year round if you—

DIG WELL AND CROP WISELY

Copies may be obtained from :
Ministry of Agriculture,
Hotel Lindum,
St. Annes-on-Sea,
Lanes.

Photographs reproduced from ” The Vegetable Garden Displayed” by permission of the Royal Horticultural Society

September 1941