Best practises for your substrate

Digging in a garden under cover

Digging in a garden under cover is not a very demanding task. However, like other activities, you can do it optimally, get less tired and enjoy some benefits. Gardening represents basically a constant care of the soil, including what grows above and below.

Digging in a garden under cover – which tools?

Among the manual tools operated with the strength of your arms, three options are possible. Each of them finds their application in completely different circumstances, as far as shovel, spade and scoops are concerned. Although not every one of them can be used specifically for digging, it significantly facilitates work on various soil-related activities in a polytunnel.

• shovel – narrow to wide metal surface, flat or slightly bent. Used to transfer loose materials and soil.

• spade – looks like a shovel, but after looking carefully, differences will appear. The working part is sharp and rectangular, which enables to break through more easily. Sides are not as high as in the case of a shovel.

• scoop – the base is wider, with walls, edges are bent and the blade is flat. This allows you to load and carry big amounts.

Safe and comfortable digging

The process can be exhausting if you don’t do it right. Injuries can occur for the following three reasons. When lifting too heavy loads: incorrect body position and lack of rest during work. When fatigue comes: your body begins to adopt postures which increase the risk of injury. Proper body positioning is key to avoid back pain. When lifting loads: level them to distribute the weight evenly over the rest of the body.

How to prepare for digging?

It is worth warming up before every major effort. When one has to dig, it is better to proceed at the right time. Often after winter, a positive temperature is achieved in the garden tunnel. Beginners tend to jump at the chance of a quick return to garden duties. However, you need to be wise. As long as the land is frozen, nothing will come out of it. Digging is then tedious and intense work. Therefore, wait until thaw is over. To transport substrate, it is good to use wheelbarrows. This will speed up the whole process and will be less tiring. Also, do not overestimate your strength. When a lot hremains to be done, rather break it down into several small tasks and rest between them or do something less demanding.

Why dig the ground under cover?

At the end of the growing season, it is necessary to improve the soil’s physical condition and increase its fertility. Deep digging should be carried out in late autumn, in order for microorganisms in the soil to be normalized before the new season. By loosening the substrate that way, it becomes easier for plants to develop roots, absorb water as well as minerals.

When and how to dig a site?

For everything to work optimally, the ground must be tipped over 180 degrees. These cut off lumps are referred to as furrow. The process should be carried out as late as possible. The ground must not be too dry, nor too wet. How deep to dig will depend on the type of soil: the heavier it is, the more effort will be required with the spade. However, it is assumed that between 25 and 40 cm is usually suitable.

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