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Soil Health

May 9, 2012 in Blog


Endeavouring to improve clay ground on a large sloping block of land but today, after 6 months of work there is little improvement and I am somewhat disappointed. I want to start planting and bought a punnet of mixed lettuce seedlings and will plant them regardless. Also bought some iceland poppy seeds to sow and I think I will risk sowing them too and see what happens.

11 comments to 'Soil Health'

  1. Curly said on May 9, 2012

    Make use of the autumn bounty. Pile up those autumn leaves (preferably mixed with manure) & water in (or let rain do it for you). Or you can use lucerne or pea-straw bales – if you can’t drop a trailer/ute load of leaves at the top of your slope, you may find that putting out the ‘biscuits’ is quicker and easier. By spring you’ll have lovely rich soil.

  2. Hi @Carol,
    Have you thought of building no-dig garden beds? That way, you can plant your winter veggies in a much more conducive environment as soil type makes all the difference to healthy and happy produce. A no-dig garden bed is basically a layer of newspaper, straw, chicken poo, straw, chicken poo and finally compost – but fore more details, see: See: http://www.no-dig-vegetablegarden.com/build-a-garden.html.

  3. Carol said on May 9, 2012

    Thanks for the suggestion. I will look further into that as an alternative but long term I do want to improve he condition of the soil.

  4. Ebony said on May 9, 2012

    Great suggestion @Carol. A no-dig garden is a really great way to kick start a vegie/flower/herb garden in a soil-poor environment. I ran a no-dig garden workshop a couple of weeks ago at the CEC Harvest Festival, so if you have any questions I’d be happy to help you. There’s quite allot of info online too.

    Good luck with the improving your soils. I wish I had some advice for you. Would love to know what you found worked and what didn’t once you’ve had the chance to test it out.

  5. Thanks @Ebony, will look further at no dig gardening. Feeling a bit phased by a bad experience at a Pialligo Nursery which left me questioning everything about my plans and feeling deflated. The proprietor accused me ” twice” of working for someone else as I was taking notes of plants he had that were on my list. When I tried to say I was just a home gardener on a large steep block he scoffed at me and was quite rude which left me leaving in tears. Needless to say I will never go back there as there are other nurseries in Canberra.

  6. Jo said on May 15, 2012

    Another thing you should look at @Carol is setting up a wicking bed, this will need to be filled but you can use similar techniques to the no-dig garden to establish it. The advantage of a wicking bed comes in the summer because it is watered from underneath. Google wicking beds or look at wickingbed.com. They are usually raised beds but it is also possible to create them on the ground.

    • I heartily endorse wicking boxes. They are also (somewhat) mobile. I use them to ensure summer vegies…and my 3-year-old capsicum is in one.

      • A three year old capsicum?? I thought they were an annual. Today was the first I have heard of wicking boxes, so thanks for broadening my horizons as I was prompted to google it, really a capsicum lasted this long in wicking box!

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