Feeding your soil

Feed your soil, not your plants is a good piece of advice for any gardener: a well-cultivated soil is like deep brown breadcrumbs, rich and hearty and able to provide everything your plants could need.

Healthy soils have an open structure, so water drains through easily. They're also moisture-retentive, with sponge-like particles which absorb water and hold onto it until plants need it. Open soils also teem with micro-organisms, making it easier for roots to absorb nutrients and generally helping your plants to thrive.

Getting goodness into your soil is straightforward: all you need is plenty of organic matter. Well-rotted farmyard manure, available by the bag in our garden centre, works deep into the soil through the season releasing nutrients as it goes. Dig in to the top layer of the soil at half a wheelbarrow load per square metre.

Slow release fertilisers such as bonemeal and pelleted chicken manure, also available in our garden centre, increase nutrient levels gradually over the season too: apply in March and again in late June. Follow with a mulch of more well-rotted organic matter and your plants will be in heaven.

Please ask the staff in our garden centre in Poynings for more information and advice about soil improvers for your garden.

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