Feed the soil!

Use or­ganic con­di­tion­ers to en­rich your borders

Garden News (UK) - - About Now -

Be­fore the weather turns nasty, spread a thick layer of nu­tri­tious or­ganic mat­ter over the soil sur­face in your beds and borders. As it rots down over win­ter it will re­lease nu­tri­ents to en­rich your soil, al­though for sandy soils it’s bet­ter to wait un­til Jan­uary. Some of the best soil con­di­tion­ers are nat­u­ral prod­ucts, and many are free! l Gar­den com­post Turn gar­den clip­pings, an­nual weeds and kitchen waste into com­post. Add slower-rot­ting card­board, pa­per and straw to achieve a good mix, ready to use in six to 12 months. l Leaf mould Gather up au­tumn leaves and place in pierced black bin bags or a stake and chick­en­wire cage and leave for a year to rot down. l Chicken ma­nure y m la Bought in pel­leted form, A chicken ma­nure can be sprin­kled over the soil and raked in. Add fresh chicken drop­pings to your com­post heap to en­rich the mix and speed up de­com­po­si­tion. l Mush­room com­post Spent mush­room com­post is of­ten avail­able from mush­room grow­ers. Spread over soil or add to com­post bins. l Well-rot­ted ma­nure In ru­ral ar­eas, look for free sacks of farm­yard ma­nure by the road­side. Spread around roses and other hun­gry plants. l Seaweed ex­tract Use seaweed in a milled form, such as Chase Seaweed Meal, £8.45 for 2.5kg (The Or­ganic Cat­a­logue, 0844 967 0330; www.or­gan­ic­cat­a­logue.com).

Where there’s muck there’s brass!

Tidy up and make free con­di­tioner with leaf mould

Com­post is ex­cel­lent re­cy­cling

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