Sim­ple ways to im­prove your soil

Look upon soil im­prove­ment as some­thing on­go­ing rather than an emer­gency mea­sure.

Gardeners' World - - Healthier Soil -

Soil dos

Pick up a hand­ful of soil and feel it from time to time, to work out whether it would ben­e­fit from the ad­di­tion of more or­ganic mat­ter or grit, de­pend­ing on its na­ture.

Add bulky or­ganic mat­ter to the veg­etable plot each win­ter if you’re dig­ging.

Mulch beds and bor­ders with or­ganic mat­ter in spring, where dig­ging the soil over is un­de­sir­able and un­nec­es­sary. Mulching will help con­serve mois­ture and keep down weeds.

Use or­ganic fer­tilis­ers that are more ben­e­fi­cial to soil bac­te­ria than in­or­ganic com­pounds, and be sure to wa­ter them in.

Con­sider grow­ing green ma­nures on the veg patch – th­ese are seedling crops that are dug back in to add en­rich­ment.

Soil don’ts

Don’t un­der­es­ti­mate the value of sharp grit and coarse sand in im­prov­ing the drainage of heavy clay.

Never ap­ply fresh ma­nure to soil since it can re­duce the amount of ni­tro­gen avail­able to your plants, be­cause bac­te­ria use ni­tro­gen in the process of break­ing down the ma­nure.

Don’t dig heavy clay when it is too wet ( sticky) or too dry ( rock hard). Wait for that quar­ter of an hour in spring when it is some­where be­tween the two!

Don’t dig just for the sake of it. Once planted, the ground can be en­riched by mulching and al­low­ing worms to help in­cor­po­rate it.

Don’t ap­ply prod­ucts whose value you are un­sure about. Soil is a pre­cious commodity and should be cher­ished.

Sow green ma­nures in au­tumn, which are then dug back into the soil to en­rich it

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.