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I have cleared an old garden and planted some veges instead but nothing grows very well. The soil is clearly too sour or something. Where can I get my soil tested?

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You will probably find your soil is very hungry. Vegetables use up to 75% of nutrients in one season so keeping on top of a few things will make your vege garden a success. 1 – IMPROVE SOIL STRUCTURE If you are able to visit the beach I suggest you collect a large amount of sea weed and then once back at your garden site then first of all dig over your plot to a depth of 20 cm to break up the sod, then skim half of the surface area of this existing garden soil to a depth of 20cm. Just pile the soil up onto the remaining planned garden bed. Lay a decent 15cm layer of seaweed in the dug pit and then cover the seaweed with the soil you just excavated. Repeat this exercise on the remaining bed. The worms will come up and chew through the seaweed and seaweed has all the minerals that our soils are lacking. Next add compost that you can purchase at your local store. I suggest spreading a 20cm layer of compost all over your ‘dug and buried’ area and once an even depth dig this compost into the top 10cm of your existing soil. Compost will improve the soil structure, will feed the garden and retain moisture. Into this compost / soil dig add 1 x handful of dolomite lime per square meter and 2 good handfuls of sheep pellets (both available at your local store) Your garden will now have a good base of nutrients. When your plant out your seeds and seedlings be careful not to tread all over the garden and squash the lovely aerated soil. Stand on a plank to disperse your weight. Once seedlings and seeds are planted drizzle a ring of blood and bone around each seedling and you’ll be away!

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