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Soil advice needed!!

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Soil advice needed!!

Post by SueH on 6th October 2014, 15:43

Earlier this year, I moved into my present house.  I made a new rose bed, planted it out and now find the soil (I want to put annuals on the edge) has become compacted.  Looks OK on the surface, but when you dig into it, it as hard a bl***y nails!!  What can I do please?! scratch

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Re: Soil advice needed!!

Post by LouiseJB on 6th October 2014, 21:23

Hi Sue,
When you water your new garden does the water runoff or stay on the surface for a long time?
Thanks,
Louise.

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Re: Soil advice needed!!

Post by neptune on 6th October 2014, 22:23

Sue...two questions

1. What type of soil is it
2. How far below the surface does it become compacted and does it change color as you go down...
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Re: Soil advice needed!!

Post by Ausrose on 7th October 2014, 04:08

I find digging in composted organic material helps.

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Re: Soil advice needed!!

Post by The Lazy Rosarian on 7th October 2014, 06:43

Quick fix time Sue.
How wide is the strip that you want to place the annuals?
I suggest removing half the amount around the edge and replacing with a "good" composted potting mix or bulk compost mix from a nursery/landscaper supplier.
Mix this through the other half of the soil you kept. This will get your garden edge right quickly. After this I think it is time to fix the rest of the bed. As much organic matter as possible.
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The Lazy Rosarian

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Re: Soil advice needed!!

Post by Balinbear on 7th October 2014, 10:34

I agree with David's advice and add to check if you have any worms in the soil. If not find some and add them with the organic matter.
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Re: Soil advice needed!!

Post by SueH on 7th October 2014, 15:51

Thanks Guys ........ plenty of worms live here!! The soil is compacted about 12 cm below the surface. This was dug over when the bed was made (not by me though), "some" compost was added (?? amount). everything I've put in, so far, has survived well, it's just putting new plants in that's the problem. I think your suggestion David, is probably the best way for me to go and to keep adding more compost over the months. Is this right? Have I read you all correctly?
From what I can see, the water does penetrate down, but what happens when it reaches the compacted layer is anybody's guess!

SueH

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Re: Soil advice needed!!

Post by The Lazy Rosarian on 7th October 2014, 16:11

For the time being Sue, forget what is under the dug part, if you have worms, things must be good. Yes, keep adding compost as long as you live there, the worms will thank you forever. The only time I would worry about the layer below the worked area is if you end up with a lake instead of a garden.
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The Lazy Rosarian

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Re: Soil advice needed!!

Post by SueH on 9th October 2014, 13:43

Oh Dear David. I really wasn't anticipating having a water feature! I'll certainly keep a watch out. Thank you for your advice.
I must admit, I haven't seen so many worms in a garden before - I'm not complaining though!

SueH

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Re: Soil advice needed!!

Post by silkyfizz on 10th October 2014, 21:36

Ahhh compost! Tell me about it! I'm up to my elbows in it at the moment. Having just had a large shed demolished, I've now got a huge new area for garden. Yay! On the south side and shaded so no roses Sad but I've got heaps of ideas. Just have to inject some life and goodness into 'dead' soil that hasn't seen the light for a very long time. I've been swinging a mattock for days and incorporating anything I can find. Hopefully it will be worthwhile in the end. But Sue, I hear ya about compacted soil!
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Re: Soil advice needed!!

Post by AutumnDamask on 11th October 2014, 06:54

Gypsum to help break up compacted soil/clay. But also LARGE quantities of organic matter. Variety is good. Smile (eg. manures, straws, compost etc)
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Re: Soil advice needed!!

Post by silkyfizz on 11th October 2014, 19:25

Yep Autumn, lots of goodies to feed the soil and encourage microbial life. Gypsum is great but does take time to do its job.
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Re: Soil advice needed!!

Post by SueH on 12th October 2014, 15:41

Thanks Girls! Compost is it, I think! I will also do as David suggested too. In the long run, it has to be incorporating different goodies! YUM!!

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Re: Soil advice needed!!

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