Improve your soil
Organic solutions to help condition your soil
Feeding the soil keeps it nutrientrich and healthy, and lots of natural soil improvers are available to organic gardeners. Spread them over the soil surface this autumn and they’ll replenish lost nutrients as they break down over winter. Then dig them in come spring to help improve structure.
● Garden compost: Mix grass clippings, chopped herbaceous prunings, annual weeds and kitchen waste together with straw or strips of cardboard or newspaper and leave to rot down for a free source of balanced, loamy compost.
● Well-rotted manure: Farmyard manure is available free or at low cost from stables and farms. Leave fresh manure to decompose before spreading over your beds. Avoid using in plots destined to grow carrots, which can fork in over-rich soils.
● Chicken manure: Add fresh poultry droppings to your compost bin to enrich your home-made compost or allow them to rot down before adding to your soil. Don’t use around ericaceous plants.
● Leaf mould: Fallen leaves that were collected and bagged up last autumn will have rotted down into rich, crumbly leaf mould.
● Mushroom compost: Spent growing medium from mushrooms is a good source of organic matter and often available in bulk, but you might need to arrange transport. Unsuitable for ericaceous plants.
Use bagged up leaf mould on borders now
Lovely loamy compost make for the healthiest of soils