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How to improve your soil

Improving your soil means you’re ahead of the game come planting time. There are several things you can do to improve your soil and make your garden flourish this season.

What is soil?

Because soil is not just soil – it’s as alive as your plants, bustling and thriving with organic life. It’s rich in organic matter to support life in the soil, meaning all your plants flourish.

Soil is a mixture of minerals, of both dead and living organisms, as well as air and water in varying proportions. Their four ingredients interact with each other in truly amazing ways, making soil one of our planet’s most dynamic and important natural resources.

Did you know there is more living organisms in just a handful of soil than people on this planet?

Healthy soil is 45% mineral (soil solids), 25% air (soil pore spaces), 25% water and 5% organic matter.


Methods for how to improve your soil

Digging and forking through soil allows you to loosen any compaction, as well as remove weeds and debris. It also  provides the perfect opportunity to add the organic matter.

Plants need good soil conditions if they are to give their best results. Improving the soil with plenty of organic matter in the form of compost helps drainage. It also helps with aeration on heavy soils and even conserves essential moisture on light ones.

On your veg patches or areas of bare soil, consider growing green manures. These are seedling crops that are dug back in to enrich the soil. There’s no need to dig soil for the sake of it. So once planted, the ground can be enriched by mulching and allowing worms to help incorporate it.
We highly recommend using something like Gro-Sure Farmyard Manure which is rich in organic matter.
gro-sure farmyard manure

Improving Sandy Soils

This soil needs allot of organic matter. To truly improve this light sandy soil, adding this matter will help to bind the soil particles together and therefore improve both water and nutrient retention. This job should be done in spring and autumn.

Improving Silt Soils

This soil type is at the most risk of compaction, so it really needs organic matter adding yearly. This will help to improve the structure. Adding a 5 -10 cm layer of organic matter and then working it in with a fork in the early spring or summer is best.

Improving Clay Soils

Dig your soil in the autumn for this type when it is relatively dry but still workable. In the winter months clay soils are almost always too wet to be worked effectively. And in summer top dry and hard to work easily
Try not to overwork the soil. You could try simply lifting big pieces of the soil to the surface in autumn months, then they could break down with winter weather
Use organic matter like mulch around your plants to prevent the soil from surface from drying and cracking in warmer weather. We advise you not to add sand to clay soils as it could make it worse. Instead try using gravel or coarse grit – though you’ll need to use quite a bit.

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