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Author Topic: Ericaceous soil and organisms.  (Read 182 times)

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Pitufo

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Ericaceous soil and organisms.
« on: July 17, 2017, 19:56 »
Last month I planted blueberries and a bilberry in containers filled exclusively with ericaceous soil from sacks bought at the garden centre. I add the tea from teabags and coffee grounds and the plants are looking healthy with new growth. It occurred to me that because of the source of this soil it contains no organisms to do their jobs in keeping the soil healthy. Does anyone have any advice about how I can safely add organisms. I have so far seen no earthworms on my plot, well I did see one little one but the robin that stays with me when I dig ate it while I watched! I would be most grateful for any suggestions. Thank you.


New shoot

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Re: Ericaceous soil and organisms.
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2017, 20:42 »
Soil fauna find their way into pots, so I wouldn't worry about that too much. 

As for your plot, you need bulky organic matter in the soil to attract earthworms, like composted waste or stable manure.  They also like mulches, which is why laying rotted compost or manure on the soil surface works over winter.  Even stuff like bark mulch keeps the soil damp and attracts the worms in  :)

Blewit

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Re: Ericaceous soil and organisms.
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2017, 07:37 »
You could add a few handfuls of home made compost or if you're out and about in the countryside collect a small bag of horse/cow/sheep poo.

Pitufo

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Re: Ericaceous soil and organisms.
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2017, 09:47 »
Thank you both. The bilberry in the pot I will not worry about as you suggest New Shoot. The blueberries are in a full size enamel bath so I will take the advice of Blewit and go out on a poo hunt, there are lots of sheep just a few miles up the road and a couple of donkey sanctuaries I can approach. Unlike the old days fresh muck seems very difficult to source and my compost heap is only one month old so I intend to plant green manures later on and hope they will attract the earthworms. Hope I'm on the right track with this. Thanks.

mikem

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Re: Ericaceous soil and organisms.
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2017, 10:34 »
I am about 14 miles north of Leeds and there are a lot of horse riding stables that are very willing for you to collect it (already in a heap ready for you to bag up) otherwise they have to pay to get rid of it.  I collected 20 bags of it last week, luckily I have a trailer.

Pitufo

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Re: Ericaceous soil and organisms.
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2017, 20:40 »
Hello mikem, since I got my plot the thing I regret most is having a little car and not a truck. It hadn't occurred to me to think about a trailer so thank you that is brilliant. I will get myself kitted out and look up stables. Maybe I can come back to you on that. Thirty odd years ago for a fee they used to come and dump it on your plot, wish they still did.  :)

New shoot

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Re: Ericaceous soil and organisms.
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2017, 10:32 »
I intend to plant green manures later on and hope they will attract the earthworms. Hope I'm on the right track with this. Thanks.

Green manure will certainly help.  If you pick something you can dig in, the worms will love all the green waste to feed on in the soil.  If anything gets too large to dig in, you can pull it and add it to your compost heap.  I pretty much filled a compost bin yesterday with self seeded borage.  Its a pretty plant and great for bees, but there is only so much I need on the plot  :wacko:  It does grow very fast though and makes a lot of green waste.

If you have access to leaves in the autumn, you can spread those over the soil as well.  The worms pull them in and if there are some still of the surface and in the way next spring, you can rake them up and build a leaf mould stack  :)

Pitufo

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Re: Ericaceous soil and organisms.
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2017, 20:21 »
Awwww I just love this stuff, thanks New Shoot. The seeds I have bought as green manure are white clover, grazing rye and winter tares which I intend to sow at the end of August (thanks to advice about sowing from this forum). I think in my next life I would like to come back as an earthworm.....totally beneficial, then on a bad day I want to be a tapeworm and slosh about in someone's guts and let them do all the work.  :D

 


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