Grotty half plot

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GraciesGran

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Grotty half plot
« on: May 22, 2020, 09:54 »
Have been offered half a plot.  It is clear (ish) of seeds but solid.  No chance of doing anything much with it this season.

Do I cardboard, manure and weed suppressant till next year?  What is the best way to improve Spanish soil?

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mumofstig

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Re: Grotty half plot
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2020, 10:22 »
I'm usually pretty good with working out what someone means, but Spanish soil, unless you are relocating abroad? Give us a clue  :nowink:
Lesley x
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al78

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Re: Grotty half plot
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2020, 10:27 »
It sounds like the soil is heavily compacted. I'd try to break it up to a fork depth at least. I remember when I took on the other half of my plot which was full of weeds and had had ground cover down for what looked like years. I had to stand on the fork and wiggle left and right to get it into the ground, but with perseverence and regular visits, I managed to get it to a cultivatable state.

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GraciesGran

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Re: Grotty half plot
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2020, 10:41 »
sorry, must remember to read before I post!!!  There is a lot of clay in the soil.

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Growster...

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Re: Grotty half plot
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2020, 10:45 »
As Al says, it seems that it'll have be a forking job!

Can you get hold of any manure, as once you've broken the surface, a covering will entice the worms up, and they could help a lot when it rains - if it ever does again...


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polo71

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Re: Grotty half plot
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2020, 10:51 »
Take the no-dig approach, If the top is clear then just mulch it with well rotted manure / compost and get sowing seeds in modules you will growing in weeks and there is still loads of this season left. If the top is covered in weeds clear to soil level cardboard then mulch and sow seeds. If you are adding to the soil with a mulch it doesn't matter if the soil is compacted the plants will still root into it and the more mulch you add each year the better it will be.   

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GraciesGran

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Re: Grotty half plot
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2020, 10:52 »
I can get manure.  The soil is so solid I can't get the fork in, bit like my pastry.  The plot is ideal in other ways as it already had a shed and is close to the water supply.

Will collect manure, pray for rain, break surface, spread manure, top  with membrane and and let it brew

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Aunt Sally

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Re: Grotty half plot
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2020, 11:42 »
I would dig over.  If you just mulch on top of a clay pan it will take many years to improve. 

Break the panned soil up and add some humus to it before planting or sowing. 

If you do a small bed first you should have time for quick growing crops.  If you dig a trench and fill with good soil or compost you have time to plant/sow runner beans now.  12 plants will give enough beans for a family and all the neighbours  :D
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mumofstig

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Re: Grotty half plot
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2020, 13:54 »
If the manure you've spread is already well rotted (ie not smelly) then after rain, or a good watering - then you can grow in it straight away :)

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GraciesGran

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Re: Grotty half plot
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2020, 15:19 »
My husband, who hates allotments with a passion has taken a mattock to it.  The surface is being broken up but it's going to take a lot of baking to get him over this. Fresh manure and weed suppressant over the weekend. 

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Christine

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Re: Grotty half plot
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2020, 16:18 »
Obviously a man who likes his food that husband. If the plot is worth it, then lots of cakes are worth it. If said husband has a say in what he'd like on the plot that might be worth a lot in repayment even if he doesn't do work there.

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GraciesGran

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Re: Grotty half plot
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2020, 16:58 »
Christine - Lemon drizzle cake being demolished as I type.  Current thinking is spinach, raspberries, runner beans, beetroot and rhubarb - all things he really likes.  Leeks and a few strawberries, both ok as far as he is concerned.  Will see how we go.

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Christine

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Re: Grotty half plot
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2020, 17:45 »
Well GraciesGran looks like he doesn't hate allotments so much where his stomach is concerned.  :D

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al78

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Re: Grotty half plot
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2020, 19:20 »
My husband, who hates allotments with a passion has taken a mattock to it.  The surface is being broken up but it's going to take a lot of baking to get him over this. Fresh manure and weed suppressant over the weekend.

I reckon I could get through it with a fork. As I said, I had the same problem six years ago, my allotment is on clay soil with clay subsoil. If I lived closer I'd offer to take up the challenge, with home baked cakes as the prize (that is my weak spot as well).  :lol: :lol:

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Growster...

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Re: Grotty half plot
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2020, 19:59 »
Mrs Growster and I hoiked out some raspberries a few years ago, and I had to use a pickaxe to get anywhere near the roots! It was a very, old, overgrown allotment, at least ten years un-worked, and unloved as well...

It was well worth the effort though, and the sense of achievement is overwhelming when you see the results only a few months later!

Sorry, GraciesGran, that sounds unworthy of your efforts, (baking and cajoling), but, by Jiminy, you'll feel so much better when it's all done and dusted!

We're not too far from you, so we've had the same concrete weather, and there doesn't seem to be much rain on the way yet...

(And we've had an email from Southern Water asking us to be sparing! Blimey, Bewl Water was finished years ago, surely it's full by now)!

Stay calm and think of England, eh?



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