If you are lucky you will take on a plot that is reasonably clear of perennial weeds and brambles, and so your main task will be to dig out the roots and weeds. If however (like mine) you inherit a site that is 12ft high with brambles you will need to clear these first – before even being able to plan your plot!
Whatever state your plot may be in, and whatever bed system you may be using, at some stage you will need to do some digging. Ironically even a no-dig system may require some initial digging. Digging will open up compacted soil, aerate it, allow you to remove weeds, and helps to mix in any organic matter you decide to add to enrich the soil.
Many allotment books will talk about single digging, double digging, some will tell you to dig in winter, and others in the spring, while some will advocate the no dig method of gardening, so let’s look at what is all means and how you should dig and when.