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Soil texture - what kind have you got ?
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RichardW



Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Posts: 8414
Location: Llyn Peninsular North Wales
PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 09 10:40 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

At the min what can only be described as "liquid" lol

Richard

@Calli



Joined: 03 Jul 2005
Posts: 1682
Location: Galway
PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 09 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

RichardW wrote:
At the min what can only be described as "liquid" lol

Richard





We have clay at the top and along the seam where it changes (and all the water springs emerge) a mix and then ultra rich soil which was once part of Lough Derg, it has tiny shells in it!!

ninat



Joined: 01 Feb 2009
Posts: 606
Location: Scotland
PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 09 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We're on heavy clay. about 10-12" of topsoil then a hard sandstone layer which is the cusre of every fencer here. Seems to be a selenium and cobalt deficiency as the lambs need regular dosing.
Was thinking about trying this and wondered if people had experience
http://www.seercentre.org.uk/aboutseer.htm

Jenna



Joined: 30 Sep 2005
Posts: 263
Location: Away with the fairies
PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 09 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Pretty similar to ninat, but our garden patch has been worked for generations (a lot of my neighbours, or their parents, were born in this house) so is very rich, if a little on the claggy side. Elsewhere though, it gets very greasy when it rains, and is mostly rock within 12 inches of the surface ( sandstone, but very layered so makes good slates and flagstones if you can get it out of the ground!). I just keep piling on the compost in the vague belief that it can't possibly do any harm, and the taters like it

Slim



Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 4662
Location: New England (In the US of A)
PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 09 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

ninat wrote:
We're on heavy clay. about 10-12" of topsoil then a hard sandstone layer which is the cusre of every fencer here. Seems to be a selenium and cobalt deficiency as the lambs need regular dosing.
Was thinking about trying this and wondered if people had experience
http://www.seercentre.org.uk/aboutseer.htm


poked around their website for a bit. Rockdust will certainly provide some very slow release trace elements, which is great for a long term soil management scheme. Not sure why they feel the need to relate their product to questionable geologic/climatologic theories, but undoubtedly, the product can't hurt and will provide trace elements as it weathers (even rock dust is too large to be immediately available - only when it's been weathered into ions in solution)

As for cobalt & selenium deficiency, the amounts you would be receiving from a generic crushed rock product probably aren't that large, and it would likely be worth your while to just buy the appropriate soil amendments. (You could investigate green manures, or animal manures from an area that is naturally high in the elements you lack, but I don't know if what you need exists in the UK, or if it would be worth it to ship all the extra bulk, when you could just buy an amendment)

sickpup



Joined: 19 Jun 2008
Posts: 164
Location: Amble,Northumberland
PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 09 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

rivergirl wrote:
sandy, dead jealous of people on clay soil as I need some to build a clay oven



ive got very heavy clay soil, how do i make a clay oven with it?

lorna



Joined: 09 Apr 2009
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue May 05, 09 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I have very stodgy soil here in Chelmsford so i add compost and horse manure and my vegetables love it and funny enough my garden doesnt smell like the stables.

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 43925
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 09 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Bet ours is stickier than yours (nr Billericay)

wychwood



Joined: 10 Feb 2009
Posts: 36
Location: Northants
PostPosted: Sun May 17, 09 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

If I had any topsoil it would be mainly heavy loam.

frewen



Joined: 08 Sep 2005
Posts: 11297

PostPosted: Sun May 17, 09 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

In the new house and an inch down it is sticky yellow clay - lovely and strong but as claggy as you like

mark



Joined: 14 Jul 2005
Posts: 2186
Location: Leeds
PostPosted: Sun May 17, 09 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

in the river valley and so is the rich fertile stuff of the flood plain.

Has loads of stones in it though - and whenever we remove them new ones work their way up! a
It also needs watering in dry spells as it drains very easily!

It is very easy to work and to dig - and we have put loads of compost (but no manure) on it.

And as we live over an old roman settlement we aren't allowed to dig deep - but quite a few bits and pieces from our garden are in the local museum and we are priveleged to have a roman well in the garden.

gil
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 18369

PostPosted: Mon May 18, 09 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

mark wrote:
in the river valley and so is the rich fertile stuff of the flood plain.

Has loads of stones in it though - and whenever we remove them new ones work their way up! a
It also needs watering in dry spells as it drains very easily!

It is very easy to work and to dig - and we have put loads of compost (but no manure) on it.


Sounds very similar to mine - do you have a problem with compaction in wet weather ? My silty loam soil has almost no clay in it - alluvial silt and sand.

Nick



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 33661
Location: Hereford
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 09 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

And mine! And it's compacted badly, possibly due to it being under water 18 months ago, and having pigs on it for a few months more recently. Mixing it 30/60 with mushroom compost has made it very useable, but I have some massive mushrooms growing where my beans should be...

gil
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 18369

PostPosted: Mon May 18, 09 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Nick wrote:
And mine! And it's compacted badly, possibly due to it being under water 18 months ago, and having pigs on it for a few months more recently. Mixing it 30/60 with mushroom compost has made it very useable, but I have some massive mushrooms growing where my beans should be...


The pigs will certainly have compacted the soil structure, and the waterlogging will have created anaerobic conditions that do the soil no good - you may need to do some deep digging.

Have you tried digging an exploratory hole and looking at the soil profile ? Dig down as far as you can [at least 1.5-2 feet], and see what it looks like, and feels and smells like.
If you've got grey/blue/yellowish areas that smell 'off' and not like good fresh soil, they need to be dug over to aerate them so the soil microorganisms can revive and start working again.

The more compost you can make and mix in to give your soil some body and structure, the better.
Also, when soil waterlogs and compacts, it becomes more acid.
May be worth checking the pH with a cheap kit from a DIY place [they work well], and if too acid, think about adding a dressing of lime in the autumn.

mark



Joined: 14 Jul 2005
Posts: 2186
Location: Leeds
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 09 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

gil wrote:
mark wrote:
in the river valley and so is the rich fertile stuff of the flood plain.

Has loads of stones in it though - and whenever we remove them new ones work their way up! a
It also needs watering in dry spells as it drains very easily!

It is very easy to work and to dig - and we have put loads of compost (but no manure) on it.


Sounds very similar to mine - do you have a problem with compaction in wet weather ? My silty loam soil has almost no clay in it - alluvial silt and sand.


I think all the organic matter encourages worms who do a good job of keeping soil in good condition despite the predations of an army of Robins (we have two pairs nesting in ivy near door to house - and more round corner! ! Mark

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