Double digging – this is a technique for digging over your allotment which was widely practiced a generation ago.
It involves digging a trench two spades deep and bringing the bottom layer of soil to the top. The idea is that it will aerate the soil and help to break up big clumps. However there is also a school of thought which believes the practice serves little good, as the subsoil is often low in nutrients, meaning there is little benefit to your plants. These critics prefer a technique of digging just one spade’s depth and turning the soil as you go. If digging over winter, leave it roughly dug to allow the frost to help break up the clumps, before raking and forking in the Spring to a fine tilth, ready for planting.
The image above shows plot 8b being sorted by Ray after being un-used for a couple of years.