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What can I do to help this crappy soil?

(8 Posts)
hiddenhome Sun 10-May-15 22:33:17

We've been in a new build for a year now. I've been planting up the garden, but it's fairly obvious that the soil is poor quality.

Dh has been digging flower beds out and replacing the dirt with grow bag dirt. This seems to be helping, but we can't do it everywhere and we have to two small lawns we're trying to nurture.

He put some Grow More on the lawn and I've been using Miracle Grow on everything.

Is there anything else I can do to help the plants and lawn? My hydrangea is dying sad I don't know why. The other plants seem to be surviving.

plipplops Tue 12-May-15 17:39:38

My sister's garden was basically built on a car park and her soil's rubbish. There's no real solution other than mulching heavily every year and it gets better over time. Green Thumb are really good at looking after lawns, it's been v dry recently so if you're lawn is on a load of rubble (so drains really well) it could just be super dry, but I'd call Green Thumb and get them to take a look...

Liara Tue 12-May-15 20:35:51

Add as much organic matter as you can possibly manage. Grow bags are a very expensive way of getting it, find out if you can get a delivery of topsoil in a truck or somewhere you can get it yourself if you have a trailer.

If there are any stables near you, well rotted horse manure is great for improving the soil.

aircooled Tue 12-May-15 20:40:13

Agree with Liara, feed the soil with organic matter rather than pour chemical fertiliser onto it. Maxicrop seaweed feed is better than Miracle Gro. Start your own compost heap asap!

Methe Tue 12-May-15 20:45:55

I'd be adding a few tons of manure every year. Leaf mulch would be great too if you can get any.

misscph1973 Tue 12-May-15 20:55:08

Get a composter and make it yourself. Some councils help with the cost, and some councils collect both kitchen and garden waste and then let you take the composted soil from the recycling station. Ring and ask.

Ask on Freecycle for rabbit bedding waste and horse manure.

Also you could plant green beans and other plants that improve the soil.

When you mowe the lawn, don't pick up the grass, but leave it, it's mulch. Some mowers have a mulch setting.

Whatever you do, don't let the soil be bare - it dries out. Plant easy plants with good coverage, like Nasturtium or pumpkin.

Methe Tue 12-May-15 21:01:23

If you're anywhere near me I can supply you with lots of A grade guinea pig waste shite?

Chippychop Wed 13-May-15 18:39:47

Look at developing a gravel garden for the borders - I had I as we built out house and garden on a farmyard: pig sty. Prepare to be digging up mega rocks for years. I agree buy in top soil by the tonne (literally) c £65/tonne

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