How long does it take to dig a garden bed?

Today I decided to time how long it takes me to do this.  A lot of people tell me they just don’t have time to garden.  This is a 4 x 20′ garden bed.  I have fibromyalgia and have to be careful not to over do things or I pay big time.  Because of that, when I am digging new beds, I try to dig one foot down the first day and dig the second layer down the next.  This way I end up with good double dug beds.  I only have to do this when opening up new ground, after the first time, it is just a matter of maintaining and cultivating (oh, and don’t walk on the beds).  So…

One pass on one 4 x 20′ bed with one shovel is…… one hour and 15 minutes.

This is with picking out bricks and rocks and pottery and bottles.  Also figure in time for occasional day dreaming.  I think an hour would be a reasonable amount of time to figure in if you don’t have hard clay soil or brush.  I will let that air for a couple of days, then go back and do the next pass.  The next pass on this particular ground will have a lot more bricks and building debris in it than the first pass, so it will probably take me two hours.  When I am done, it will look like the bed on the right and be ready for a layer of straw mulch.

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3 responses to “How long does it take to dig a garden bed?

  1. Yay! A fellow digger! 🙂 I can’t believe you’re doing all this with fibromyalgia. Wow. One thing you might want to do to make things a little easier on yourself is to get a longer-handled shovel. It gives you more leverage and makes the whole thing a little less back-breaking. (P.S. Love your countdown to your first frost-free day! Ours is normally April 15th, but with this weather, we might get an extra week or ten days. Here’s hoping!)

    • lol I tried to use a longer shovel this year thinking that might be the case and broke the handle off. I haven’t had the funds to buy a new handle and I think the old handle is just too week to cut it off and put it back in the blade. I think digging is so much easier than wrestling a big piece of equipment that is going to shake me into exhaustion anyway.

  2. I can do it faster, sis. I have worn out soles on boots from stepping on shovels. You make me lunch and we’ll have a race. Don’t forget the pumpkin pie.

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