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moggins



Joined: 24 Feb 2005
Posts: 942
Location: Gloucester
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 05 7:27 am    Post subject: Too Easy?  Reply with quote    

LOL, the things that start to worry us when things go well

I dug my patch yesterday, it turned over remarkably eaily, the soil is so fine (apart from the obligatory half peg, deflated balloon and the mile of couch grass root) it almost looks like compost. There's no clay, hardly any stones (apart from a half brick my fork found).

So now I'm starting to worry because of the fineness of the soil exactly how good it's water holding properties will be, yes I know I should be grateful that it only took me 21/2 hours to turn over a patch 15' x 10' but I'm expecting sods law to creep in somewhere now.

Sarah D



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 2584

PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 05 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Plenty of humus dug in - FYM, home made compost, green manures at the appropriate times - or sheet mulching with bulky organic matter will help to build up the soil's moisture holding abilities. Also mulching while crops are in the ground.

moggins



Joined: 24 Feb 2005
Posts: 942
Location: Gloucester
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 05 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Okay, how do I get bulky organic matter (manure I presume) with a hatchback car and no trailer without it needing fumigating when I get home?

joker



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 188
Location: hiding
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 05 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Start a compost heap on site you could allways rent a truck for half a day and move the required materials in that . There may even be someone on this site with an appropriate vehicle willing to help

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 05 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

moggins wrote:
Okay, how do I get bulky organic matter (manure I presume) with a hatchback car and no trailer without it needing fumigating when I get home?


Compost. My home garden thrives on compost produced at home. Every scrap of compostable material (except bones, excessive newspaper, cardboard and woody stuff, which all goes in the council compostables collection) gets composted in our compost bin or on the heap. Been doing that in the garden for over four years, and I'm delighted to say that our garden soil is really healthy now.

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 05 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Oh, and have a word with local allotmenteers. Someone around there will probably deliver a whole heap of *ahem* for a nominal fee.

moggins



Joined: 24 Feb 2005
Posts: 942
Location: Gloucester
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 05 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The compost bin is going well, after I extracted the carrier bags which darling son plonked in. (I must remember when asking an AS child to transfer the contents of his guinea pig hutch that I must explain he empties the contents out of the bags and not just throws the whole lot in )

And when the kids are back at school I will haunt our local allotments (if they are still being used) to find a friendly face to ask about ****

Bugs



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 10744

PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 05 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I wonder if you think the local allotments are not being used, would you be permitted to take one over and grow your own compostable crops on it (comfrey, phacelia, that kind of thing)? Or is it in the rules that you must grow edibles? I wouldn't suggest growing this kind of stuff *instead* of edibles, but if they aren't being used at all it would be better than having them overgrown, and wouldn't mean spending hours there tending stuff?

moggins



Joined: 24 Feb 2005
Posts: 942
Location: Gloucester
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 05 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Bugs, that is not a bad idea!! They're not being used to a combination of council bloodimindedness and vandalism due to being next to a pathway leading from a main road to the schools.

The council won't let the allotment holders run a waterpipe through, so any water has to be transported from your home to your allotment.

We did have an allotment there about 6 years ago and it was just a nightmare so we let it go, but your suggestion is a good one, thanks

judith



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 22789
Location: Montgomeryshire
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 05 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Moggins, I have transported poo in the back of an estate. Collected it from a nearby stables - they even gave me the stout feed bags to put it into as well. Had to do the digging myself, but that was OK.
Spent mushroom compost is another brilliant soil conditioner. If you can find a source of that, a few bags should go in the back of your car no problem.

nettie



Joined: 02 Dec 2004
Posts: 5886
Location: Suffolk
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 05 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I put stable manure in the car too. The plastic haylage/chaff bags are the best, and I line the back of the car with polythene. Horse manure smells go in seconds if you drive up the road afterwards with the windows open

You may have to fill the bags yourself, I found if they were more than half - two thirds full i couldn't lift them into the car.

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14974
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 05 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

There's a guy round here who delivers trailerloads (on the back of a tractor) for 25 quid, but lots are free to collection.

There is also a woman up the road who sells manure from her gate for a quid a carrier bag. Now it doesn't take a genius to work out the econimics, but I tend to go for the bags, as I've no access for a trailer, and couldn't use a load in month of sundays! they are quite easily transportable, too.

LETS scheme might be worth looking into - even if only for the trailer.

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 05 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We have a similar problem with light chalky soil. We've added plenty of compost and some manure. Late last year I split up a bale of straw into an empty bulk bag that sand comes in. It's been rotting over winter with the aim of me adding some mushroom spawn. If it fails (it probably will ) then I'll use it on the garden to keep the moisture in.

A bale of straw is easier to transport in a car than bags of manure. Some 'human' activator can help with the decomposition.

moggins



Joined: 24 Feb 2005
Posts: 942
Location: Gloucester
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 05 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Treacodactyl wrote:
.
A bale of straw is easier to transport in a car than bags of manure. Some 'human' activator can help with the decomposition.


I think the other half may threaten me with the nearest loony bin if I ask him to tinkle on the compost heap

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 05 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I beleive gardening is for both sexes.

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