First of all: This is NOT an April’s Fool entry – though it might sound like it…
I started weeding the vegetable garden today to get it in shape. Last year the weeds completely got the better of me and I ended up completely abandoning it – so the plan this year is to start out on top of the weeds and stay there!
However, having started the weeding I realised just exactly why I struggled so much last year. There are roots and roots and roots all over the place, and combined with the quick grass it’s just… Well, weeding it seemed impossible!
So I’m taking a rather radical step; basically I dig up the soil to a depth of 8″ and then I sieve it. It’s hard work, but not as hard as it sounds, really – and the result is VERY satisfying!
At first I figured I’d sieve it and then store the sifted soil in the shed that has a concrete floor until I was ready to put it back in, but obviously this is stupid and involves me carting soil around more than I need to, so tomorrow I’ll use another tactic and dig up the soil of one area and placing the unsifted soil on another area of the vegetable garden and then sieve it directly where it needs to end up.
Of course this not only gets rid of roots but also stones, bits of broken glass and pottery and so on, and the sifted soil really feels like something you’d pay good money for in a garden centre!
It won’t eliminate weed seeds, of course and some small roots will invariably pass through the net – but it will be a different game from last year, and as an added bonus the soil will be light and fluffy and perfect for sowing. I’m really quite excited about this, in case you hadn’t noticed…