adding compost to the soil

  • 11 Replies
  • 4911 Views
*

Jimmy Splash

  • New Member
  • *
  • Location: Leamington Spa
  • 36
adding compost to the soil
« on: October 22, 2010, 10:50 »
i think my soil is on a clay bed
because after a downpour the soil is clumpy, soft and compacts easily when i tread on it. also it's really difficult pulling weeds out. they just break at the top of the soil.

is the answer to buy bag loads of compost and sprinkle it all over to make it finer? i can't get hold of manure.

*

compostqueen

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 16597
Re: adding compost to the soil
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2010, 11:32 »
Well that rather depends on the size of the area involved. If it's large then it would cost too much

Generally we make our own composts and leafmoulds to use as soil improvers. You can get spent mushroom compost, straw, sharp sand, all of which will lighten heavy clay soils.  Planting a breaking crop of potatoes is usually a good thing. I found that leeks were good clay breakers too, with their invasive roots systems. Celeriac is another

You can get hold of manure, everyone can if they try  :D

If you've not got a compost bin or leaf bin then I'd get cracking today  :)


*

aelf

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: merseyside
  • 1814
  • idndtdodaftl
Re: adding compost to the soil
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2010, 13:20 »
A good test for clay is how quickly the site drains after heavy rain. If puddles sit on the surface for more than a few hours, it is likely that the soil is clayey (or very compacted). Changing that to a well draining soil is a case of working the soil regularly, incorporating organic matter as you go. It may take you many years to get the soil you want  :)
There's more comfrey here than you can shake a stick at!

http://www.wedigforvictory.co.uk/dig_icon.gif[/img]

*

Arbutus

  • New Member
  • *
  • 15
Re: adding compost to the soil
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2010, 14:28 »
Although organic matter is obviously vital in any soil, and does help to break up small-particle clay soils, unless you have access to industrial quantities of organic material on an on-going basis then you will also need to add something like grit to break open the soil structure permanently and create better drainage.

At RHS garden Rosemoor they spent vast amounts of time and money improving the heavy clay soil purely with very large quantities of organic material. They then planted roses on the new beds. Within 12-24 months many of the plants were failing badly and examination of the soil showed that it had entirely reverted to it's previous state in a very short space of time. They started all over again, this time bringing in large amounts of grit and created a permanent improvement in the soil that now allows a wide array of plants to thrive long-term.

There's a useful pair of articles about this very subject at Ecocharlie:

www.ecocharlie.co.uk/blog/2010/03/improving-your-soil/

www.ecocharlie.co.uk/blog/2010/02/getting-to-know-your-soil/

*

tode

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: NW France
  • 2525
Re: adding compost to the soil
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2010, 14:52 »
If you've not got enough compost, then a cheap solution is to get a load of dead leaves fropm the Council, and dig those in before the winter.

*

JayG

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: South West Sheffield
  • 16247
Re: adding compost to the soil
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2010, 16:58 »
Most people will tell you that manure or compost will improve all soils, and I agree, but simple logic (can't do complicated!) suggests to me that if good loams are an approximately equal mixture of clay, silt, sand and organic material that the best and most permanent result will come from trying to correct the mineral content of the soil as well as adding organic material.

So for heavy clay it would be adding fine grit and manure/compost, for light and sandy (like mine) it would be adding clay and manure/compost.

(I've been doing a little experiment this year on a small part of my plot by adding some donated "pure" clay. Probably didn't have enough to make a big difference but it seems to have incorporated OK and certainly hasn't done any harm!)
Sow your seeds, plant your plants. What's the difference? A couple of weeks or more when answering possible queries!

One of the best things about being an orang-utan is the fact that you don't lose your good looks as you get older

*

mumofstig

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Kent
  • 53189
Re: adding compost to the soil
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2010, 18:08 »
I have a clay layer under the first spit of sandy stuff, and in my autumn digging, as well as loosening the hard layer I've been bringing a little of it up to mix with the top layer...........same theory as yours Jay :)

The old boys who have plots that were pure clay, added grit and course sand to their soil to make it workable and improve the drainage. They manure only one third of their plots, for the potatoes, each year, so it takes 3 years before the whole plot has been manured. Quite economical in time and effort, as well as in manure if you have to pay for it.

Deep digging makes the world of difference to clay though. Especially if you dig deeply in autumn and leave the frosts to break the soil up. the more you work it the better the soil is, because you let air in to the soil, which in turn improves drainage :)
Hard work, but worth it!
Lesley x
I'm not good, I'm not bad - I'm just me, and sometimes I have to apologise for that ;)

*

JayG

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: South West Sheffield
  • 16247
Re: adding compost to the soil
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2010, 19:51 »
 :)

Just wish I'd got some clay under my sand, but as you might have guessed it's.........sandstone!
(Found that out when excavating for my pond!)  :(

*

evie2

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: An exiled Scot in Derbyshire
  • 4387
Re: adding compost to the soil
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2010, 20:18 »
Look on the bright side Jay, it least it's not an old mine shaft  ???
May this day be blessed with gifts, understanding and friends.  Merlin 2001-2012 Pandora 2001-2013 xxx

*

Jay The Digger

  • Experienced Member
  • ***
  • Location: Hampshire
  • 176
Re: adding compost to the soil
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2010, 20:44 »
Most people will tell you that manure or compost will improve all soils, and I agree, but simple logic (can't do complicated!) suggests to me that if good loams are an approximately equal mixture of clay, silt, sand and organic material that the best and most permanent result will come from trying to correct the mineral content of the soil as well as adding organic material.

So for heavy clay it would be adding fine grit and manure/compost, for light and sandy (like mine) it would be adding clay and manure/compost.

(I've been doing a little experiment this year on a small part of my plot by adding some donated "pure" clay. Probably didn't have enough to make a big difference but it seems to have incorporated OK and certainly hasn't done any harm!)

Maybe some sort of soil swap should be set up.  I am on clay and need sandy stuff.  You are on sandy stuff and need clay.  All we need now is a mechanical digger and a big lorry and we are set    :D



*

DD.

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Loughborough. a/k/a Digger Dave. Prettiest Pumpkin prizewinner 2011
  • 30448
  • Pea God & Founder Member of The NFGG
Re: adding compost to the soil
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2010, 20:46 »
Look on the bright side Jay, it least it's not an old mine shaft  ???

JayG, JayG..... talk to us.  Where have you gone?  :lol:
Did it really tell you to do THAT on the packet?

Seeds are SOWN, planting's for plants (and bulbs & tubers)!

*

JayG

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: South West Sheffield
  • 16247
Re: adding compost to the soil
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2010, 22:12 »
Look on the bright side Jay, it least it's not an old mine shaft  ???

JayG, JayG..... talk to us.  Where have you gone?  :lol:


Hellooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo



xx
Adding b&q compost as a soil improver?

Started by adri123 on Grow Your Own

21 Replies
11750 Views
Last post November 21, 2013, 12:57
by Goosegirl
xx
Adding Compost to the soil on a new site

Started by lfcevans on Grow Your Own

6 Replies
1896 Views
Last post June 18, 2016, 19:07
by lfcevans
xx
Adding humus to the soil ?

Started by garddwr on Grow Your Own

4 Replies
1733 Views
Last post August 17, 2009, 11:25
by Bombers
xx
adding charcoal dust to the soil

Started by ilan on Grow Your Own

3 Replies
2014 Views
Last post January 02, 2012, 22:33
by Salmo
 

Page created in 0.329 seconds with 33 queries.

Powered by SMFPacks Social Login Mod
Powered by SMFPacks SEO Pro Mod |