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I am helping my daughter to dig her front garden she has only moved in last year - I don't think the garden has been dug for a long time and the soil is very hard to put a spade in the ground even a garden fork will not go into the ground - how do we solve this problem?
I thought watering the garden at night time would help but it hasn't. Mrs Rita Wilson.



Hi's just too hard, isn't it? Last week, I bit the bullet and hired a young lad with muscles, who thoroughly soaked the area and turned it over in exchange for some pocket money. I had to go over it again to be able to plant it up, but it was worth was just too much for me...

27 May, 2011


Where are you in the UK Rita, if it is the south that has had a drought for months any untended ground will be as hard as bricks. You'll need to really water well or do as Karen did and hire a strapping young lad.

27 May, 2011


If you are in the south, you'll need more than one night of soaking the ground, more like a week's worth with a sprinkler overnight. Plus, I never dig with a spade on untended ground, or even on tended ground come to that - try using a full sized garden fork, (not a small border fork) - much easier to break it all up with that and use the spade later if you need to.

27 May, 2011


Hi again, Rita,

I live in south west France, we've had no rain since Feb...
we have heavy, and at this moment, very dry clay soil...which I could only scratch with a pick axe... young lad (with muscles!) only had to soak each section for an hour before he could dig...with a full sized fork...
...hope this helps...

27 May, 2011


Here in the desert, we never even consider digging our "adobe" clay without soaking it for 4-6 hours first, and then waiting a day or two so we are digging crumbling clay, not greasy mud--we want soil, not bricks! The knowledgable also use forks, but educating the public is an uphill battle!

28 May, 2011

How do I say thanks?

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