Successful Soil Starts from the Ground Up

Success Starts from the Ground Up!
January is associated with resolutions, best of intentions and new beginnings.. But what about your garden? What will your garden look like this year, through all the seasons? Will Spring brightly arrive with lots of daffodils and wallflowers, will Summer bring Geraniums spilling out of pots, lots of Hydrangeas in flower, will this Autumn be bathed in all her colourful glory before the circle fully turns back to these winter months of Christmas Roses and so much more?  You may be wondering where to start and the answer to that question is; “from the ground up!!.” The most important part of your garden, where it all begins, is your soil.

The first thing to establish is whether your soil is clay, sandy or silt?

Types of Soil

Sandy Soil – is very light and easy to move. It warms up quickly in Spring, so it is easy to grow early crops of vegetables. However, sandy soil won’t hold onto moisture, organic matter or nutrients. To improve this type of soil, it needs to be topped up regularly with fertilisers, like chicken manure, organic matter, seaweed fertilisers or soil improver.

Clay soil –  can be very heavy and dense which results in it holding onto nutrients better than sandy soil. However, it drains poorly when it rains and when it’s dry can turn as hard as rock. Adding organic matter will improve your drainage and help to prevent compaction in the summer months. Compost, manure, and leaf mould are all types of organic matter that can be added to the soil.

Silt soil –  it can be sticky like clay when it’s wet but it does drain faster. It will hold onto nutrients and moisture better than sandy soil.

Loam soil – If clay soil was a Morris Minor, loam soil is Porsche Carrera. Loam soil is the perfect mix of sand, clay and silt. It drains well during the wet winter months, but it also holds onto the nutrients and moisture.

So what kind of soil do you have?

If your soil can’t be rolled into a ball – it is sandy, If it can, then it means it’s clay or silt.

If the soil can be rolled into a sausage shape it is a clay soil, if it cannot then it is likely to be a silt.

Silty soil also has a slightly gritty feel, whereas a sandy soil feels much coarser.

Improving your Soil

When you’re hungry, or tired how do you react or what’s your work output like? I know for me, I can get hangry – that angry feeling when your hungry! When I’m tired, I’m cranky, all of the children will definitely back me up on this! So, imagine what your soil is like when it’s been used year in, year out to grow trees, plants, shrubs and flowers with no added fuel or food! It gets tired and doesn’t perform as well and your plants will start to suffer. The best thing you can do, is improve your soil, your garden and plants will thank you for it.

Different plant foods will do different things in your garden.  There are lots of different types of plant food, one for Roses, one for Hydrangeas, Tomato food which is always a popular one, along with chicken manure and all the things. If you’re unsure of what to use just ask, it’s always better to have the right food, for your plants and your garden.

We’re re-opening on Friday 20th January, in the meantime if you need anything, bare root hedging etc, just ring me on 0879911463,

Thanks, Lynda

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Photo Credit: Zoe Schaeffer

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