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stormchaser1

stormchaser1s back garden

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Morning everyone

I have a question for any Horticultrist to answer!!

QUESTION

I`m currently outside { well not at this precise moment im not} doing some digging , and trying to find out why some plants did not grow where i sowed them earlier on this year , anyway on investigating , whilst digging i came across a load of clay, about a foot deep from the surface see below

To me this sounds like there is a problem with the drainage !! i may be wrong on that !!

Question is what is the best way to break all this clay down , should i put a load of gravel at the base {help drainage} or get a load of compost to try and break this down

please help

nigel

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Morning everyone

I have a question for any Horticultrist to answer!!

QUESTION

I`m currently outside { well not at this precise moment im not} doing some digging , and trying to find out why some plants did not grow where i sowed them earlier on this year , anyway on investigating , whilst digging i came across a load of clay, about a foot deep from the surface see below

To me this sounds like there is a problem with the drainage !! i may be wrong on that !!

Question is what is the best way to break all this clay down , should i put a load of gravel at the base {help drainage} or get a load of compost to try and break this down

please help

nigel

have you got a coal fire, because the ash from it is a good way to help break it down. i know it's summer but if you do this through the winter next summer it will drain a lot quicker, if your neighbors contribute there coal ashes it would be done in no time

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Morning Barry

Unfortuately NO we have`nt got a coal fire, .

nigel

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Morning Barry

Unfortuately NO we have`nt got a coal fire, .

nigel

get down the garden center tell them your problem, but you may have to take out a mortgage :lol: only joking

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Im not a expert on gardens but i would get rid of all the compost and get new compost it might help. :lol:

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Morning everyone

I have a question for any Horticultrist to answer!!

QUESTION

I`m currently outside { well not at this precise moment im not} doing some digging , and trying to find out why some plants did not grow where i sowed them earlier on this year , anyway on investigating , whilst digging i came across a load of clay, about a foot deep from the surface see below

To me this sounds like there is a problem with the drainage !! i may be wrong on that !!

Question is what is the best way to break all this clay down , should i put a load of gravel at the base {help drainage} or get a load of compost to try and break this down

please help

nigel

It can be a long slow process with no easy solutions.

Dig down at least two foot and remove it if its clay ! OR mix it with fine gravel, sand and peat and dig back in.

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nigel,you need to improve your organic matter content.too expensive to use compost,find your nearest cattle farm or horse livery and get as much as needed to cover your beds with roughly 4" of this.

there's also a product called clay breaker that can be apllied to the clay surface as you dig the muck in.

either way a lot of deep digging to be carried out,nice and easy does it though just a bit at a time.

the clay breaker is sold at DOWN TO EARH in hexham opposite the fire station.

trade prices aswell :lol: peter

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Thanks for all your suggestions ,

Peterf : will pop over that way next week when im on my travels , hopefully next week will be quiet as i think its the major shut down for factories for two weeks holiday , either way Hexam is only a short drive from Consett , especially if i go the back way ,

Thanks again everyone much appreciated

nigel

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Hi Nigel.

I'd certainly have a look around for manure. Some stables will let you take it away for free if you go and bag it yourself. You also need a coarse sand to dig in. There is a cheat around the back breaking work and having to dig into the clay but it will still take a few years to build up and that is to gradually raise the beds by 4-6 inches a year by using manure and fine wood chippings/compost. Some local councils are selling compost at the moment quite cheaply so it may be worth while contacting them?

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Just to add to the above, how fond are you of the plants which didn't like the heavy soil? Lot less work to put in plants suited to the soil you have. Oh, and not coal ash, wood ash is fine, coal ash and cinders will sour the soil.

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Just a thought, but it is always easier to have plants which are suited to your soil. Planting things which don't like your soil means that you will constantly be losing them and having to replace them, which is not very labour-saving and gets quite expensive.

I agree with everyone else that some sort of soil "conditioner" should be dug in as well. Loads of it. Any well rotted organic matter will help to break the clay up.

PS Whoops, Jethro.....I see you had already mentioned plant suitability!

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Morning everyone

Well i`ve been digging on and off for the last hour now, at the moment im doing a area around 2feet , and ive just come to the source of the problem! Clay thick about 2feet down , , heaven knows hw deep this clay is , but just by putting the shovel in it seems quite thick, oh well just going to grab a quick cuppa then back to work {even though im on a weeks holdiday} think i will be glad to get back to work a week on monday

nigel

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