May 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  
Blog powered by Typepad
Home and Garden Blogs

« Heirloom Tomato Ratings From Ohio State University | Main | A Squash By Any Other Name Would Not Smell So Sweet »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


This is very similar to what Jonathan White has to say, the only difference being instead of tilling down that far he is a proponent of raising gardens up in beds. It's amazing what mother nature does if we leave her alone. Human beings make everything so muh more difficult than it needs to be.

H. Mark Delman

Hi Gretchen. Thanks for your comments.
I did a quick internet search and turned up a video produced by
Jonathan White. For those interested in checking it out the link is


raised beds do very well when using the intensive gardening method. the less you walk on the soil yhe aerated the soil stay providing oxygen to the roots of the plants also check this link:

H. Mark Delman

Hi Ra: Thanks very much for the comment. Right now, Im debating whether to put in raised beds in one area or do the traditional double digging that John Jeavons outlines in his book. Its kind of a balancing act -- I think the initial cost of raised beds can be high -- cedar for building the beds is about $1.90 a foot and soil out here is about $10 per cubic foot. The advantage is that you have soil thats in great shape from day 1 and the raised beds are easier on the back from a maintenance perspective. Double digging takes a number of years to get the soil in shape but requires less cash to get started. I sending a soil sample for the area I want to convert into a biointensive area to a professional testing service. I want to see what my starting
point is with regard to soil health. That will help me make a final decision.

chocken farmer

I make my beds a little different. I dig out a trench around the bed two shovel loads deep, throwing the dirt on top of bed, then fill the trench with wood chips. I do not dig my beds. If I had a broad FORK, I might use that sometimes. Every year or so, I dig out all the rotted wood chips and use as compost or mulch. I try to keep all beds covered with a thick layer of straw mulch. I let the earth worms do most tilling and deeply burying fertility in the soil. The top of the bed is four feet wide and the bottom of bed is five feet wide.

H. Mark Delman

Thanks for the tip. I did a double dig this year because it was the first time I was breaking ground in this area of my yard. Its an incredible amount of work.
Thank goodness this is a one-time process. Next year, its just add compost and mulch.


I've just planted a couple of different melons last week. Can't wait for them to be ripe. Last year they were wonderful. Great post!

The comments to this entry are closed.

Gardener's Supply Company
Tractor Supply Company
Shop Now! Safer®Brand Organic Gardening