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Clay soil

Perthshire, United Kingdom Gb

Hi there...I have just moved house from very fertile well worked soil in my last garden, to unworked solid clay in the new one....any suggestions?? Or is it just down to hard work and carting in bagfuls of compost and digging it all in?? :-)



Got it in one, Maranddar. Also dig in lots of horticultural grit. Home-made compost is obviously the best, plus well-rotted manure and any other organic material. Then, whenever you plant anything, make the hole bigger than normal and back-fill with compost.

In the late autumn/early winter, turn the soil over and leave it for the frost to break down the clods, then mulch in the early spring - let the worms work for you!

Good luck - I bet you feel like swapping soils with your old garden, don't you!

16 Mar, 2009


Hi there Spritzhenry. Not just the soil I want to swap....i have had to leave so many gorgeous plants behind as they were asleep for winter!!
Thank you for the advice, I did kind of think it would just be down to hard graft....hopefully by summer it will all be worth it. Aaargh...i am never going to move house again!! By Mulch do you mean leave a layer of compost on the top of the soil as opposed to diggin it in?? I have had the use of a rotavator for making a veggie plot, but not sure if i should now double dig in some manure. So much to do in so little time!! :-)

16 Mar, 2009


Yes - try to add at least one inch, better still, two inches of 'real' compost on top of the soil. Have you got any home-made compost? I suspect not... you can buy bags of rotted manure I believe. I know it will be expensive, so start off with the area you want to plant up first.

Well-rotted manure in a veggie patch would be great for rotavating in! I can't see you double digging a clay soil - unless you want to do your back in, of course!

I don't blame you for not wanting to move again. It's not an easy job - very stressful. All those boxes!

You can always beg cuttings and seedlings off members once they get to know you - you'd be surprised how many plants go winging their way around the UK!

16 Mar, 2009


Sadly I had to leave a full compost bin at my old place, so I am currently bringing in bagfulls free from our local council...probably not loat of nutritional value, but should help the texture. I shall buy a couple of bags of manure, and just keep my fingers crossed that my hound doesn't decide to roll in it!! I am trying to restock via ebay, but have to say some of my purchases have been a bit disappointing...but now I have a small (plastic) greenhouse...the seed sowing has begun in earnest! There is going to be alot of fingers crossed over the next few weeks!!!

17 Mar, 2009


Just to put in my 2p worth, have you tried joining your local "freecycleuk" on Yahoo!, that is where I got my free horse manure from. And the kind lady said I can always collect whenever I want! (eg norwichukfreecycle is 1 of my local ones) Hope that helps! I know buying manure from Sains. Homebase is £6 per bag!! I could even buy a ton of well rotted manure for £30 from my local "cheapcycle" (cheapcyclenorfolk) Also, you can buy really small peashingle from your local builders merchants really cheaply. Even have a ton bag delivered for £50? I think. Hope this helps!

17 Mar, 2009


BTW, your free compost from the local council, is that from the local dump? We have to pay for bags of those.......

17 Mar, 2009


Hi there Craftnutter
I shall have a look at freecycleuk and see what it can offer me. As for the compost from the council...yes it is free but restricted to 3 bags per visit, and as I am only a feeble female I only half fill them as i can't lift them otherwise :-0
I have a new compost bin, but it will take about a year till i can produce my own, but in the meantime the council freebies will help with my clay problem!!

17 Mar, 2009


Or you could grow Roses.

17 Mar, 2009


Freecycle is BRILLIANT! You can post a 'wanted' on your local one. Then you should get responses from horse owners in your area. Good luck with that.

17 Mar, 2009

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