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By Deidrev

Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom Gb

We have moved back to the U.K. after 10 years in Spain.
We have bought a house in Nottinghamshire with a reasonably manageably sized garden. The soil contains a lot of sand.Sandy/loamy ,free draining and easy to dig over even when wet.
We have, so far added some cow manure to areas we have planted e.g. where I'm attempting to grow runner beans. t
We have started a decent sized compost bin but it's going to be a while, probably 12 months,before it will be in a usable condition.

Should I dig in horse or cow manure next Autumn? Would peat be a good addition to the soil?

It really needs something to hold the soil together and to fertilise it. I'm sure that nutrients will probably wash away quite quickly.

Any tips would be appreciated.



We rotted horse or cattle manure can be dug in during the autumn with the emphasis on 'well rotted', peat will not help your soil and soil improver or composted bark if you can get it.

26 Jun, 2011


Anything you can find that will add bulk and humus will help. On very light soil I would wait until the early spring to add manure as although it will help the soil texture whenever you add it some of the nutrients will get washed out during the winter in a very light soil.
Whenever you add manure make sure it is completely rotted first.
If you have a local source of autumn leaves you can lay them on the lawn and mow them, and then either compost them or spread them as a thick winter mulch. they rot down twice as quickly if you chop them like this. They will take some nitrogen from the soil when they rot but they will improve the texture greatly and you can always add a little nitrate if you want - or grow peas and beans, which will do the job for you if you leave the roots in after cropping.

It would also be a good idea to do a soil test - you can buy kits quite cheaply. On sandy soil you might find there are very few nutrients there, so you will know what needs adding.

26 Jun, 2011


Often on sandy soils, simply laying the compost and organic mulch on top of the soil will do all of the soil conditioning that you need. Worms and rainfall will gradually move the organic matter into the ground, while the coating of mulch on top helps keep the soil moist, and helps adsorb nutrients.

27 Jun, 2011


Thank you all for your replies. The advice is much appreciated.

4 Jul, 2011

How do I say thanks?

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