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The digging "fun"

This week after 20 days we finally got some decent rain. The rain fell on two separate days and was falling for 12 hours each time, so the garden finally got some much-needed moisture. The north winds that followed the rain episodes have already dried the upper part of the soil, but there's still plenty of moisture in the lower soil layers.

With the rain came colder temperatures, and for the first time this September, we got morning temperatures around 5°C(41°F). This is the sign that autumn is finally here and that I can finally start prepping the garden for the winter and spring seasons. Sadly this also means that it's digging time.

Since the garden is pretty much still alive. Veggies have been hibernating and waiting for better conditions, but all of them are still healthy and growing. This is why I still can't remove almost any of the plants to start prepping the beds. The only two small beds that I could clean are the old beans and pickles beds. Pickles were killed off by the rain and cold mornings, and beans could still have given some pods, but the second sowing batch is now producing pods, so I can remove these beans without any remorse. 

This is why yesterday I started with the digging preparations. I've cleaned the beds and covered them with a thin layer of horse manure pellets. My beds are dying for some manure, and I have some leftover horse pellets from last year. I'll use the pellets on the beds that will be planted during October and on the rest of the garden I'll use rabbit/kitchen waste compost, which I've collected during the past couple of years. I was going to use it this year, but my hubby mixed the old compost with the fresh one while he was building the new compost box, so I had to wait another year for the compost to be ready.

Digging is something I absolutely hate doing. Especially the beginning since the first two rows need to be dag opposite of the hill configuration to stop the soil from washing down. This is very hard work and it takes me ages. Of course, like every year my spade broke right after I started working, and of course, it broke just when I started digging, so I had to go back home and find something else to dig with.

 I could have repaired my spade, but that would take too much time, so I just searched for some other tool. When things go bad they can always go even worse, so I couldn't find my hubby's spade. I had no other choice but to take the regular scooping shovel. I was almost 100% sure I wouldn't be able to dig with it, but to my surprise, it went even better than with the garden spade.

The shape of the shovel prevented me from digging too deep or lifting too big pieces. I ended up digging the beds even faster and easier than with the spade. Of course, the perfect soil consistency helped a lot. I managed to pick just the right time to dig, the soil was moist enough for easy digging, but not too moist to stick to the shovel.

Now that the beds have been dug, I'll leave them until the next rain when I'll dig again with the hoe, and I'll sow the broad beans and winter lettuces here. I will need at least 3-4 more beds for the winter veggies, but this will have to wait until I make a plan for next year and decide which bed will be used for what. 

And I'll have to plan well, we'll be using every inch of the garden. The was the prices are going up, we'll need the whole garden.


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