Try straw bale gardening. It’s a lot less work and very productive. I had more tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers than I could handle in my first season. It also takes up less space and saves the back pain of bending over so far or kneeling to weed or trim et cetera. You can garden on your patio or roof, or just about anywhere. I’m 68, and I’ll never use another method of gardening. Note! Use straw bales, not hay! – GSS
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Respectfully, double digging is a bad idea. It will destroy the soil structure. It is an idea left over from times when heavy chemical fertilization and peat moss were used in suburban gardens. It destroys the microorganisms in the soil as well as the natural soil structure. Adding 2-3 inches of compost on top of the soil each year is much healthier for the plants, worms (who will “till” the compost in by themselves), and microorganisms and fungi that exist and live at SPECIFIC layers in the soil and should not be disturbed. Steve Solomon is not the person to listen to. This article explains further on what a healthy ECO system for gardens and plants is. – PM
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My experience with double digging is that you bury the sod layer upside down at the bottom of the second dig trench. Generally, simply turning sod upside down for ten days won’t kill it, and it is still viable. – OneGuy
HJL’s Comment: I’ve never actually seen double digging done that way. I’m familiar with John Jeavons “How to Grow More Vegetables” where he describes the double digging in detail and the top layer of soil remains on the top in his version. (I have the 1995 edition, but there are updated versions out.) I have used his version with great success on an herb garden I put in for my wife, turning a patch of sand into usable dirt in the first year and by year three, it was the highest yielding soil on my property. The last five years, the plot has been filled with perenial plans, so disturbing the soil is not an option, but the first three years gave it such a head start that it still yields more than any other patch on the property. While it is high yielding, it is also labor intensive and for the majority of garden work, we use a 4 foot rototiller behind a small tractor to till the top layer of soil. It’s certainly faster, but obviously not as good as the manual double dug beds.