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Author Topic: Too much water  (Read 4367 times)

Farmer Giles

  • Joined Dec 2007
Too much water
« on: June 09, 2008, 08:03:59 am »
At last the rain has seemingly ceased and we have made an effort in the veg garden but it is just so wet, owing to the clay soil, that we were going put sand down and try to mix it in with the soil to improve drainage. Has anyone ever had a similar problem and tried/succeded with sand or other medium??

Would be really interested to know and have some suggestions as to what we can do to get some better natural drainage so we can get our vegetables to thrive instead of survive!! 

rustyme

  • Guest
Re: Too much water
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2008, 01:12:13 pm »
just a quick reply as I am off out in a tick . When you say sand what sort ? ... it is best to ad grit/gravel than fine sand. Some sand won't harm , but for good drainage stick some mixed gravel in , upto about 1/2" ish.....if it is really bad you could make a sump along a lower edge of the plot . Dig a ditch about 2'-3' deep ,lay in plenty of stone and gravel then fill in . Just remember to keep it below planting level and don't redig it later...lots of hard work !!!! Depending on situation and space , you could also plant loads of willow. They will soak up loads of water , so will comfrey.... got to fly...

cheers

Russ

Farmer Giles

  • Joined Dec 2007
Re: Too much water
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2008, 07:14:04 am »
Ooh I don't know, just sand. It is a course sand that was left over when the builder finished 'enduiting' the outside of the house.

I don't in honesty know a great deal about veg plots as it is my other halfs domain and so I am trying to sort out the drainage as when we have a down pour it puddles in various areas and takes an age to dissapear. I have heard that comfrey is a nightmare as once planted it can never be got rid of??

MrRee

  • Joined Jan 2008
Re: Too much water
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2008, 10:31:43 am »
I suggest that builders sand would be too salty,unless you washed it first of course,(but should be fine in a trench). The salinity would probably kill all ya plants. If you've plenty of old and/or used hay lying around,use it to mulch in between the plants and by next year will have rotted down enough so that when you dig it all in in March,it should help to break up the clay. A good liming two weeks before you plant anything in March too should help. For now,I'd just resort to forking and aerating as much as possible to stop a crust forming and keep your fingers crossed for better weather. The majority of all my veg is Bonsai size at the moment for the same reason,but this is the first year for the virgin plots.
 Comfrey is well worth considering as Russ mentioned,they soak up loads of water and the leaves are useful for lining potato trenches and making liquid fertilizer,also animal feed once wilted. If you don't let them go to seed and split the clumps harshly,they shouldn't spread that much.The tallest plant I have is about waist high and about six feet around,but I have left it to grow and not harvested from it. Others I have run over with the mower once a month and they're only about eighteen inches and quite small around.Good windbreaks too. Best of luck....... Ree
They donít join cliques ó more times than not, they stand alone ó but they recognize and gravitate towards one another. Only warriors understand other warriors.

rustyme

  • Guest
Re: Too much water
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2008, 12:42:28 pm »
if you do plant any comfrey , plant it in it's own permanent bed. Also make sure you get bocking 14 to start with, from chase organics. It is sterile and therefore cannot spread by seed. It can only be progagated by root cutting, very easy to do to increase your numbers of plants. It makes very good animal feed , protein content of about 22%, plus lots of other goodies in it. If you wanted to get rid of it once planted it is a bit like getting rid of doc really . The smallest bit of root left will grow again , but it does go in the end . You can also turn the pigs onto the old comfrey bed and they will root out every last bit , so I have read anyway !!!!
Willow would have to be planted somewhere around close to the veggie plot , like the comfrey, otherwise it would just swamp every thing , or should I say smother ? , but it uses so much water it would help drain the local area as well as providing fuel etc..
 As Ree says the salt content of sea sand could harm your plants , although cabbages etc should be ok  !If it is inland quarried then it should be ok though .If however the main problem is just sticky clay soil , then add gypsum as well as gravel/grit. The gypsum helps the clay particles stick together to form something more like loam particles , and the gravel/grit helps with the drainage.
 One thing to think about , is the area/veggie plot a bit lower than the surrounding area ? is it acting as a sump ? if not, no probs just dig and add the extras ,gravel,gypsum, compost etc, but dig deep, good old fashion double digging. If it is lower ...mmmm I would just move it somewhere else.  ::) Much easier in the long run.  ::)
    I hope this helps a bit , it is all trial and error in the end really . let us know how you get on with it though mate...
 
cheers

Russ

 

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