How to improve my allotment soil

  • 7 Replies
  • 499 Views
*

riggers24

  • New Member
  • *
  • Location: North Shields
  • 37
How to improve my allotment soil
« on: July 10, 2018, 21:28 »
Two years ago I took over 7.5 x 5 mtr extension in the autumn to my original allotment, I dug over the plot removing all the weeds and added loads of manure to the top. So what can I add to improve the soil structure as I’m not getting great results this year. I don’t have enough compost in my bins to cover the area.

I was thinking of trying ecothrive “charge” and adding coir fibres.

Or am I wasting my time with it

*

snow white

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Location: suffolk
  • 809
Re: How to improve my allotment soil
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2018, 22:37 »
 Mushroom compost is generally cheap and works well.
A handy girl with a cordless screwdriver.

*

Pescador

  • Experienced Member
  • ***
  • Location: Miskin, Pontyclun, S.Wales
  • 286
Re: How to improve my allotment soil
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2018, 07:11 »
I'm in a similar situation having taken a new plot back in March. Half of it was very unloved, compacted clay riddled with mint, bindweed and mares-tail. I'm in the process of digging out as many roots as possible, and then covering with spent hops and horse manure.

A local stables lets me take as much old manure as I want, and a local craft brewery is happy to let me take the hops. So the amount I can put on is limited solely by my time, energy and the space in the back of my car!
Every Pickle Helps!

Paul's Preserves and Pickles.

*

snowdrops

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Burbage,Leics
  • 15281
Re: How to improve my allotment soil
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2018, 09:03 »
I’d just add more well rotted manure or anything else well rotted, cover it & wait til tge spring, although you might want to do a ph test, it might need some lime to help it, think I read in Johns guides (look on home pages) about lime helping plants take up the nutrients. So you’d have to apply lime & manure judiciously as you shouldn’t put them down together.
A woman's place is in her garden.

See my diary pages here
and add a comment here

*

riggers24

  • New Member
  • *
  • Location: North Shields
  • 37
Re: How to improve my allotment soil
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2018, 12:55 »
I’d just add more well rotted manure or anything else well rotted, cover it & wait til tge spring, although you might want to do a ph test, it might need some lime to help it, think I read in Johns guides (look on home pages) about lime helping plants take up the nutrients. So you’d have to apply lime & manure judiciously as you shouldn’t put them down together.

The science of it is that the lime reacts with the nitrogen compounds in the manure causing the release of ammonia, which is a gas so is lost to the air and therefore your soil.

I have also read that because ammonia is also highly soluble in water, if the reaction takes place in the soil the ammonia is captured by the soil water and subsequently recycled back into nitrates.

On that basis, spreading the lime on top of the manure would be the worst plan, manure on top of the lime should minimise the problem, and digging them both into the soil the best.
I'm not desperate to go against the conventional wisdom on the subject so I'll let you decide!

I have also been advised to only add manure every 3/4 yrs, I do carry out PH tests and add lime every year.

*

New shoot

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Reading
  • 13451
Re: How to improve my allotment soil
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2018, 13:31 »
There has been a recent discussion about using compost teas to reinvigorate soil - link here.

Compost Tea Trials - Can You Help? in Grow Your Own - Page 1 of 2

You might find the response from Dr Pepper on page 2 helpful.  Basically organic matter is the key as you need that to get the soil structure to a state where it can support lots of helpful soil bacteria and other organisms that depend on them.  Otherwise any other additives can have little or no effect.

I know you don't have compost, but investigating alternative sources of organic matter could be worthwhile.  Not just manure, but spent animal bedding (pet shops?), leaves (council?) or wood chips (tree surgeons?).

My plot soil was pretty awful to start with.  I use everything I can get my hands on.  Some I compost to a fairly rough state and either dig in or lay on the surface.  In the autumn I often trench compost - basically dig a series of trenches one after the other, fill with green waste and top fill with soil when you dig out the next one.  You just have to choose to grow stuff the following year that can cope with that -  squashes, corn and beans work for me  :)

*

sunshineband

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Reading, Berkshire
  • 31393
  • Tallest Sunflower prizewinner 2014
    • A Little Bit of Sunshine
Re: How to improve my allotment soil
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2018, 17:14 »
I'm with New Shoot on this... anything and everything you can lay your hands in, trenched in, soaked really well and covered with soil. Shredded paper is usually readily available, torn newspaper and egg boxes, cut up soft green weeds, as well as kitchen waste. I used to "claim" veg peeling etc from the kitchen at work too!

Next year's squashes will be wonderful plants  :D :D :D

Wisdom is knowing what to ignore - be comfortable in your own skin

My Blog
My Diary
My Diary Comments

*

Plot 1 Problems

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Location: Worcester
  • 720
Re: How to improve my allotment soil
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2018, 22:25 »
I agree with Newshoot and Sunshine, Just chuck tons of organic matter into the soil, even if it's not fully rotted. My plot neighbour layed 6" of wood chips a spade's depth in trenches in his soil when he took over his plot and now he has deep rich soil.



xx
Wood chips to improve soil?

Started by NettleBed on Grow Your Own

10 Replies
1152 Views
Last post September 27, 2017, 18:30
by NettleBed
xx
Anyone tried adding clay to improve sandy soil?

Started by JayG on Grow Your Own

14 Replies
2222 Views
Last post September 07, 2009, 18:13
by pushrod
xx
Allotment soil

Started by upert on Grow Your Own

7 Replies
568 Views
Last post July 15, 2018, 19:53
by upert
xx
Allotment Soil In Pots...?

Started by michellela on Grow Your Own

4 Replies
1353 Views
Last post October 06, 2010, 22:58
by michellela
 

Page created in 0.408 seconds with 42 queries.

Powered by SMFPacks SEO Pro Mod |