How to Turn Soil by Hand in 3 Steps

Shovel tilling dirt

Would you like to have loosened and well drained soil?

Has your ground frozen yet?

If the ground in your garden hasn’t frozen yet, then you are in luck because right now is the perfect time for you to turn your soil. While turning your soil might feel like a lot of work, your garden will benefit from it enormously. Turning the soil could be the perfect Saturday chore for the weekend.

First let’s start with tools you need.

  • A spade or fork
  • Compost

You may be able to use a tiller if you want to invest into a large machine for a larger garden. Or you can borrow your neighbor’s spade or fork to get the job done. Using compost or manure will help to feed your garden’s soil.

Here Are Three Steps to Turn Your Gardens Soil

  1. Take your compost and layer it over your garden.
  2. Next, take your spade or fork push it into the soil. You’ll want to go as deep as the spade or fork which should be about 7-8 inches. Pull the dirt out flipping it so that the organic matter falls to the bottom and the soil is on top.
  3. Lastly, use the spade or fork to cut up the chunks of soil.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle,

Repeat these actions until the entire garden is turned. Then, make another pass around the garden, digging and flipping the soil. After the second pass, the garden is thoroughly turned. Smooth out the irregularities of the freshly turned soil with the back of a garden rake or hoe. The garden is now ready for planting.

You can also use this process at the end of the season after the harvest. What is your favorite tool for turning the soil in your garden?

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