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1. Mark out your beds, a little less wide than your reach (so you can get to all parts of them without walking on the soil).
2. Leave about two feet between beds.
3. Beginning at one end of a bed, shovel out to the depth of your shovel a trench across the width of the bed. Put it in a wheelbarrow. Forget it for now.
4. In the same trench, dig down again to loosen the soil and mix in compost.
5. Next to the trench you just worked on, dig another trench the same way, putting the topsoil from the second trench in the first one.
6. Work your way down the entire bed.
7. When you have reached the far end of the bed, fill the last trench with the soil in the wheelbarrow.
8. Mix compost into the top layer of your bed.
9. You get the idea. You are digging, loosening, and mixing compost into the soil to the depth of two shovels.
A saying among organic gardeners is that you should be able to plunge your arm into your beds past your elbow.
For more good information go to the Website of Organic Gardening magazine: