For some strange reason most starting gardeners have a tendency to overlook their soil, or at least until they have worked on every other area, is the soil. One way to help reduce the negative impact that the soil can have is to understand the basics of cultivation. The soil cultivation basics can literally mean the difference between the success and failure of your garden.
- Regular digging. This type of cultivation is also known as basic digging. Usually this method of cultivation is employed by simply using a shovel or pitchfork to raise up some of the soil, and then turning it over. Regular digging helps to mix together any additional material you are wanting to add to your soil, and also remove any potential obstacles as well.
- Single digging. Single digging is a cultivation method similar to regular digging, just a bit more in depth. In this particular process you dig out a trench that is as deep as your shovel, and about one foot wide. Set each bit of soil that you remove off to the side for later use. Dig another trench right next to the first one with one small change. This time instead of setting the soil on the outside of the trench, you set it over in the original trench. As you do this, make sure that you also break up each clump of soil as much as possible. Repeat the process until you have finished cultivating the area, putting the original pile of dirt into the last trench.
- Double digging. Double digging uses the same basic principles as single digging, but with an added twist. The twist is that you also dig down again along the bottom of the trench, using the regular digging method. This allows you to cultivate the deep soil, as well as the top soil.
- Aerating. Despite what many people think, aerating is basically a type of cultivation that you can use on your lawn. Aeration helps improve the root growth of your lawn, while also helping to break down thatch buildup. Furthermore, this type of aeration can help in other areas of your lawn as well. In the average, you should use this cultivation technique on your turf grass annually.
Keep in mind that these are only a few of the soil cultivation basics. There are a few more complicated methods, and techniques that you can also use. That being said, in order to really use them well, you need to be able to utilize the basics first. Try practicing these techniques a few times before you begin attempting any of the more advanced methods.
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