The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Growing => Vegetables => Topic started by: Connor on July 26, 2013, 09:58:38 pm

Title: How do you re-generate your soil?
Post by: Connor on July 26, 2013, 09:58:38 pm
I have acidic soil but i still have great harvest.

In the past I didn't add any compost or manure but this year i did where i had king edward spud i got some cow claps from the field then watered it down in a watering can and this put it over the soil and dug it through, two days after i done that i sown 3 rows of carrots and i have a polytunnel cloche over them.
As most people who have a garden will have a compost bin so i also took some of my homemade compost and mixed it through the soil.

This is how i re-generate my soil!
Title: Re: How do you re-generate your soil?
Post by: Mad Goatwoman of Madeley on July 27, 2013, 10:59:12 pm
Having an over-abundance of goat manure, I use loads in my garden. I've just had raised beds built and filled with part rotted manure with a thin layer of soil on top. the beans and squahes that are in them are romping away. At the end of the season, I will top it up with manure and let the worms do the work through the winter.
Title: Re: How do you re-generate your soil?
Post by: darkbrowneggs on July 28, 2013, 02:47:47 pm
I had my garden set up for deep beds and had worked out a rotation system which included a years fallow.

For that year the bed is left open and all the weeds and rubbish thrown straight onto the bed.  Once the main weeding season is over then I put on plenty of dolomitic limestone and gypsum mixed 1:4 which helps bind my stiff clay soil and open it up for drainage and also encourages worm activity, then old black polythene or membrane is stapled over the top. 

Leave for the winter and when ready to plant remove the cover and the soil will be ready to plant without digging and the black cover will have warmed it ready for spring planting.

Worked for me  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: How do you re-generate your soil?
Post by: Fleecewife on July 28, 2013, 06:45:30 pm
I wish we had access to seaweed but we're about as far from the sea as one can get in Scotland.  I do use commercial seaweed meal though and sprinkle it along with other stuff on every bed before use.
We have sheep and poultry so no shortage of manure.  Inside the tunnel I use well rotted farm yard stuff, plus the seaweed meal, chopped comfrey and for carrots etc which don't like manure I use garden compost made from garden waste without manure. For many plants such as tomatoes and squashes I dig a large hole and put plenty of that mix in, turn it into the bottom of the hole, then fill back in.  That keeps the food near the roots and not so much at the surface where it isn't so needed.
I leave pea and been roots in the ground and let them rot down over the winter to release their nitrogen.
Outside in the main veg patch, for potatoes we rotavate in a lot of well rotted manure along a planting trench. To prepare a whole bed for the following year we spread fresher stuff, which hasn't had time to rot down, then cover it with a tarp and leave it for a year, by which time the soil is wonderful underneath, crumbly, fertile and weed free.
I occasionally sprinkle on calcified seaweed, as I don't use lime, but we are lucky to have a very well-balanced volcanic soil so it doesn't need much.
All this feeding makes the weeds grow really well  :roflanim: