Aeration opens the soil, improves water infiltration, and improves root systems.
- Step 1: Mix the topsoil from a third adjacent trench with organic matter, and place it in the second trench. Loosen the subsoil along the bottom the third trench.
- Step 2: Continue this process until you have come to the end of the bed. Then mix the topsoil from the first trench with organic matter, and fill in the trench at the end of the bed.
- FACT: Did you know? Soil organisms from microscopic cells to small mammals, work together to help aerate soil.
- Step 3: Dig a second, adjacent trench, mix the topsoil with organic matter, and place it in the first trench. Loosen the subsoil along the bottom of the second trench.
- TIP: As an alternative to double digging, you can use a rototiller. Till first in one direction, and then in the opposite direction.
- TIP: Plants do not grow well in soils that are hard and compacted. Organic matter aerates the soil.
- Step 4: Dig a foot-wide trench to subsoil depth along the length of the bed using a garden spade. Remove the topsoil, set it aside, and loosen the subsoil along the bottom of the trench.
- Step 5: Spread several inches of organic matter on the soil bed you want to aerate. Organic matter is matter derived from living sources, such as commercial or homemade compost.