Friday, October 27, 2006

Soils are Soils

Having solid clay from the surface to about 80 feet deep has made gardening in our estate very hard work.
We have not forgotten that clay is a soil and that plants will grow in it, but if you want a really nice garden then you must put a lot of hard work into improving the soil.
We have had to bring in all the soil for the garden beds.
We have tried various organic mixes with only fair success and the shrinkage with some of these soils was just too much, which meant that the beds had to be done over and over again.
Some of the soil mixes were 90% sawdust or crusher dust and absolutely useless.
I am now very particular and look for a pure 80% soil mixed with coal and manure.
When establishing a new garden I usually put a layer of animal manure as a base then add the new soil and cover with compost, then cover again with sugar cane mulch. I am a mad keen composter, nothing in our garden goes to waste ‘what comes out goes back in’.
I have a Greenfield 6hp shredder which I use a lot, I put all the soft wood, leaves ect through it, then straight to the compost heap.
I also put a lot of liquid kelp into the soil, as I believe this is a great stimulant for healthy plant growth.
It does not happen overnight, it will take years to get the soil good but the end result is well worth it.

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