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  • FIRST POST
    • AndyBSG
    • By AndyBSG 19th Apr 17, 4:00 PM
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    AndyBSG
    How To Improve Soil?
    • #1
    • 19th Apr 17, 4:00 PM
    How To Improve Soil? 19th Apr 17 at 4:00 PM
    Novice gardener here after some advice on improving the soil in a flower bed.

    The bed in question is pretty established but the soil is really poor.

    How do I improve the soil without disturbing all the bulbs, shrubs and plants already there?

    I've gently raked in some fish blood and slow release feed pellets as well as watering with plant food.

    Can I just dump some compost on top of the soil or does it really need to be mixed in?
Page 1
    • DaftyDuck
    • By DaftyDuck 19th Apr 17, 4:31 PM
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    DaftyDuck
    • #2
    • 19th Apr 17, 4:31 PM
    • #2
    • 19th Apr 17, 4:31 PM
    "Just dumping" it doesn't sound too good, to be honest. I'd suggest spreading it evenly over the surface would be better. Loosen the soil first using a fork, or possibly a hoe. Then, spreading carefully around the shrubs, lightly mix the top dressing in with some of the forked soil. The worms will then do the rest.

    If there are plenty of bulbs, I'd wait until the leaves are beginning to die back, and then let them take care of themselves.
    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 19th Apr 17, 4:56 PM
    • 7,803 Posts
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    Primrose
    • #3
    • 19th Apr 17, 4:56 PM
    • #3
    • 19th Apr 17, 4:56 PM
    If the soil is really poor a mixture of things will help. Adding fertiliser (fish and bone), chicken manure pellets, etc will give your plants a boost but compost, well rotted manure or even leaf mound and grass cuttings will eventually rot down and give the soil more "bulk". Onviously if your grass is full of weeds or has had weed killer added you won't be able to use lawn clippings.

    Don't expect instant miracles. It will take time to improve really poor soil but starting a compost heap/compost cage so you use all your green waste will help you on your way. But don't put pernicious weeds or diseased material in compost heaps as it will ultimately be returned to the soil.

    I would let your bulbs die back before adding soil improver and lightly fork it into the earth. However there,s nothing to stop you adding it onto the dying foliage and letting everything eventually be absorbed but it will take longer, especially as some of it will end up on the dying foliage which will take time to rot down. It will also look more unsightly as you may want to remove dead foliage and out it on the compost heap so will lose some of your fertiliser dressing at the same time.
    Last edited by Primrose; 19-04-2017 at 5:01 PM.
    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 19th Apr 17, 5:03 PM
    • 7,803 Posts
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    Primrose
    • #4
    • 19th Apr 17, 5:03 PM
    • #4
    • 19th Apr 17, 5:03 PM
    Post deleted. Duplicated by accident
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