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heavy soil


I am new on here, the co-owner of a garden in rural Lincolnshire, trying to make the best of heavy clay soil during the dry season. Just can not get into the soil, can only rip off weeds on the top which looks so messy.

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dont try,mines the same it needs a good raining on to loosen it up,the weeds slid out when i did it but now its like concrete,welcome to goy

9 Jun, 2011


Welcome to GOY:)

9 Jun, 2011


Welcome to GOY CD. Save yourself some hard work until the rain comes!!!!

9 Jun, 2011


Welcome from me too.

9 Jun, 2011


I don't think your going to have to wait too long, they have fore-casted rain for most of the day on Saturday in the midlands. Sods law it's Ilkeston Towns Carnival!

9 Jun, 2011


Welcome to Goy, We had a lot of clay when we first moved to our cottage in Devon. We had to dig out the bank at the bottom of the garden with a pick axe. It was the only way to dig it out. In the end we built a lot of raised beds and added in top soil, compost and grit to try and improve the soil. Good luck!

9 Jun, 2011


Welcome to Goy from me too, Countrydweller! I would just bide your time until it rains, you need to get those roots out, or you'll just be wasting your precious time!! The rotten so and so's will just grow straight back! Take care!

9 Jun, 2011


Thanks for the welcomes everyone, and coincidentally, it's just belted it down with rain, so maybe that will have done some good!

10 Jun, 2011


Hiya Maureen, the clay soil is one reason why I reverted to decorative gardening instead of veggies, we just cannot get a fork in the ground at the bottom of our garden, a man we hired with a rotovator ended up with a broken machine,(not a happy bunny) I was over your way a couple of weeks back trying to help on sons allotment, it was nigh on impossible, thank goodness he is gradually building raised beds..
Keeps trying to rain here but has only lasted a few seconds, not even wetting the ground, we are officially in a drought according to the news but no hosepipe ban yet.....

10 Jun, 2011


Welcome to Goy, Countrydweller.
I am gardening on clay too, but the garden is about 30 years old and has had homemade compost added to it for at least the last 11 of those years. This has helped to make it more friable but it is still a challenge catching it between being too wet and too dry to work on. Too wet and weeds bring most of the soil out with them, too dry and they just snap off at ground level. Having said that, roses love it as do many other plants, so a beautiful garden can be created on it, with patience and a good deal of determination. Lol.

23 Jun, 2011


if your clay is anything like mine you will definitely not be able to work it when it is dry.
when i started my garden i covered all the areas i wanted to cultivate with a thick layer of cardboard, the shops saw me coming, ' its her again, the weird cardboard lady' but they gave me loads of the stuff.
then a layer of manure, we offered to clear out our neighbour's cowshed, the bits in the corners he couldn't reach with his machines, and he brought a cple of tractor loads over for us
on top of that a layer of straw, again my neighbour came to the rescue, we swapped a bottle Armagnac for one of those big compressed rolls of straw.
all this is time consuming and not effortless but it pays off
where the effortless bit comes in is the not having to dig anything ever!!
try to google 'permaculture' or 'lasagne gardening', there is a lot of info on different ways of gardening.

last year spring i put layers down again but after more than a year nothing has rotted away, it has been that dry around here, even the winter rains (what rains!!) didnt do the trick, so ups and downs there as well.

i agree with Xela, roses are such a bonus on this soil.
i grew my first roses here in big holeswhich i filled with lots of compost and 'good' soil, when the rains came
my roses found themselves in holes filled with water as the walls of the holesjust hardened up and didnt let the water sink through, clay pot effect.
i had to dig everything out and filled the holes back up with the same clay i took out and dumped the roses back in there not expecting anything.
and boy did it work, they took off like rockets.
good luck c.d. you never know what might work for you

24 Jun, 2011

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