Gardening tips for early December

This is the best way to prepare new ground for planting, or to renew kitchen-garden soil for winter. Mark out a strip of ground a yard wide and as long as necessary.

Take out a trench a spit deep and 1ft long. Put the excavated soil at the end of the trench. Shovel muck into the bottom of the trench. Working backwards, move the soil forward into the trench, adding more muck in the bottom as you go. When you reach the end, put the pile of soil in the remaining trench. It should fit neatly.

Then, have a cup of tea.