Tuesday, May 24, 2005

A garden fan

I am a long time blogger, 3 years or so and started out on blogger and by way of Radio and .Text I have carried on blogging. I wanted to start a more personal blog on a passion of mine and keep my techy blog on techy subjects. So here is my blog on gardening :)

I live in the north west of England and the soil tends to be heavy clay, untreated its sodden wet in winter, dry and rock hard in summer. With work you can turn that around and get the soil type and balance you want. Digging through it is worth while as most plant roots can't get through the compacted clay and will spead them selfs along it resulting in a narrow root spread. I have had potatos suggested as a way of planting to break the clay but again the compact clay proves too much. The very best policy is dig it up.

Winter wet months are the best time for this when the clay is soft, it will be heavier to lift but easier to get through with your spade. Start small and work a bit at a time, dig as deep as possible, 2 feet is good overall depth. Take off any top soil first, put to one side. Dig out all the clay and half fill with manure or leaf mould etc. Bag the rest of the manure and store for spring (it will rot down). Put the clay back ontop and put the top soil onto the rest of the garden. Over winter the cold, frost and wet will help break the clay up. When the weather allows try to keep breaking it up and turning it over, that way the weather can get at the big clumps. By spring and drier weather you can start to break down the top surface, I would cover with a mulch of rotted manure for a few weeks and then work that in. You can start to plant in this now as the broken up clay will allow roots to penetrate.


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