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  • Writer's pictureStronger Roots

Double Digging

🌱A gardening technique meant to increase soil drainage and aeration by loosening two layers of soil, usually with the addition of amendments/organic matter.

❗️The principle of digging out a trench and adding amendments is fundamentally the same for both single digging and double digging.


  • Increase the amount of space in the soil for air and water, which in turn improves plants growth.

  • improve the soil structure, especially when compost or manure are added.

  • promote earthworms and the activities of soil microbes.

  • Break up soil crusts and hard pans, and increases the rate that water that can seep into the soil.

  • help the soil retain water and nutrients when used with amendments

🔷Why and When?

  • Usually done when cultivating soil in new gardens

  • Where gardeners have a heavy, unworkable clay soil

  • Gardeners may need to improve the nutrients of a soil by incorporating amendments at root level rather than a top dressing

  • Creating new borders between grow spaces or lawns

  • When planning fruit trees or an orchard in a given area

  • where you have invasive weeds

❗️Likely to be some weeds remaining though it’s a more thorough weeding practice than just digging them up individually

🌱The Process..

1.) First the top 4”-12” layer is dug off forming a shallow trench… the dirt dig off will be used to fill the last hole at the end of the process

2.) Then the lower layer (at the bottom of the trench) roughly 2”-10” is broken up or turned. ❗️When breaking up the lower layer, organic matter such as compost or other amendments are usually added to the soil.

3.) A second trench is then started, backfilling the 4”-12” hole in the first trench.

4.) This process is repeated until the entire space has been treated. The soil left over from the first trench is used to fill the last trench.

❗️Protect from foot traffic - can cause compaction

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