TURNING SOD WHILE KNEELING SAVES THE BACK – 1st wk in Dec 2013

Kneeling to turn sods does save the back, but also allows a closer look at the soil which it pays to know and nurture. That's me with a sod in the distance on my knees!

Kneeling to turn sods does save the back, but also allows a closer look at the soil which it pays to know and nurture. That’s me with a sod in the distance on one knee!

Physical work strengthens the back but too much of a good thing can cause damage. As with many things, there is also a right way and a wrong way. Looking out at an acre of pasture and dreaming of turning it into a kitchen garden does call for some common sense when it comes to avoiding back pain.

Credit goes to Áine for the back saving technique for turning the sods in the veg beds we are in a hurry to press into service. I had been wielding the spade, digging, levering and flipping the sod without touching the soil. This requires a strong back over a long period. Áine, on the other hand, had used her head to reduce the physical work and with less work for the back in particular.

This smart technique involves digging only to loosen each sod in a line, then kneeling and with gloved hands, turn each sod as if each was a large loaf of bread. I’ve tried this technique and it is both less work on the back and quicker! It also allows for a closer inspection of worms and other life in the soil as one turns the sods. After the sods are turned, manure will be spread to cover each bed and black plastic will cover the lot. This will encourage worm activity to create good soil conditions for sowing and planting next spring. Enough blogging, back to work!

Advertisements

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Sara Whelan on December 16, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    Hi Trevor, I run the local GIY New Ross group and we find no-dig beds work well. I got my other half an Autospade for his birthday from this site: backsavertools.co.uk. It works well for conventional digging over of beds. Even no dig beds will need a bit of turning every spring.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: