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Soil texture - what kind have you got ?
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Joined: 29 May 2009
Posts: 4205
Location: SE London
PostPosted: Fri May 29, 09 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where I live it's mainly quite heavy clay, but both my garden and allotment have benefitted from liberal doses of compost. And this year on the allotment I've been pleasantly surprised by how much the soil structure has been improved by the green manure I sowed last autumn and overwintered.


Midland Spinner

Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 2931
Location: Under a green roof
PostPosted: Fri May 29, 09 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't need to analyse mine, I know that our garden is on the site of an old sand quarry!
Err. we don't get much trouble with things being too damp, even in the winter!


Joined: 27 Jul 2009
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 09 3:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm on very very heavy blue marine clay. Very hard to work, very hungry and gobbles up humus, but holds on tightly to nutrients. It yields well during dry summers and grass never burns.


Joined: 16 Feb 2010
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 10 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our place is called La Riviere so we are on sand with clay deeper down. We keep horses so we add lots of old manure which keeps the nutrients coming. Our grass is very reasonable and we don't get muddy in the winter. Farms surrounding us are on heavy clay, the sort that leaves you with six inch soles on your boots when you walk across a field. The potager is nice and easy to work and seems to be supporting all sorts of things like potatoes, beetroot, cabbage to a degree, lettuce, raspberries. The sweetcorn wasn't good last year so I have avoided it this year. This move towards self sufficiency is new for me so I am still very much at the suck it and see stage. I am gaining a lot from all your combined knowledge and experience, thanks.


Joined: 07 Feb 2006
Posts: 526

PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 10 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We're on a thin layer of peaty soil with sandy clay underneath.
Soil testing completely changed our understanding, the amount of sand in the clay was quite surprising!
pH of the top soil was also incredibly low (~4.3) so we've used significant quantities of lime. Peaty soil is great, but is does dry out quickly.
We launched a soil services lab, just a month ago- so if anyone wants their soil texture (or any other component testing) see: www.MSLAnalysis.com


Joined: 08 May 2006
Posts: 8324

PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 10 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Clay. Poor, very hungry clay. That is heavy and claggy in wet weather, and sets like rock in dry weather. *Sigh*

Subsoil is yellow clay ... very heavy indeed.

It's GREAT for growing bindweed and brambles

Currently adding as much manure from a friend as possible. Working well in the raised veggie beds, but not making much impression elsewhere. We're seriously considering a major re-vamp of the garden as a result.


Joined: 13 Dec 2011
Posts: 171
Location: Nr Peak District, England
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 11 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The garden is big and has a mixture of soils - Cheshire's sand at the top, towards the summit of the hill the garden is on, A good loam over 80% of the garden gradually getting richer and vegetation more lush as the garden gets flatter and then at the bottom, a nasty bit of clay.

The land I rent is quite poor draining, I think it's a very heavy loam with layers of clay below it. It holds a lot of water in winter and bakes solid in summer if exposed. I have thought about planting potatoes and oats on much of it.

Last edited by Marches on Tue Dec 13, 11 8:44 pm; edited 1 time in total


Joined: 08 May 2006
Posts: 8324

PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 11 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome aboard, Marches!

We have a very heavy loam on solid clay base here, so you have my sympathies for the difficulties of working that sort of soil!


Joined: 15 Jul 2005
Posts: 768
Location: Sunny Suffolk
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 12 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No idea! Although I've got quite a big (long) garden, I've membraned it all and all bar 2 plants are in huge pots.

Why? So I can take my precious plants with me when I move, and so I can move plants around during the year to make the most of them in the garden.

Downsizer Moderator

Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 18396

PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 12 1:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Questions Reply with quote

Greenfingers wrote:
What is the best fertilizer acid brown earths were parent material is low in lime or gleyed soils where the drainage is poor?

I suspect you'd help the soil most by doing something about e drainage and any compaction, and then adding lime.
You could then try digging in strawy muck if you can get hold of it - this will add some texture to the soil, as well as N.


Joined: 19 Sep 2005
Posts: 960
Location: Rugby
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 12 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The soil around here is mostly clay with a lot of lias but my veg patch is made up of dredging's from when we re-linked an old arm back to the canal. It is very silty and fertile, it does pan out in heavy rain and drys well in the sun but I have found that when dry it is only the top couple of cm's and it is still wet underneath, I don't need to water everyday.

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