Wednesday, 25 April 2012

turning sand into fertile soil (2)

It has poured this month, ending the excessively dry spell we've endured since February 2011.

....... which is ideal for establishing plants and our new raised beds, although the cold temperatures have inhibited new growth and the germination of some seeds.

We've removed the network of roots, incorporated manure and leafmould and planted our growing collection of little plants. All of this will help the new soil to establish.

A healthy soil needs a balance of nutrients and a community of invertebrates. We now understand that mycorhizal fungi too are necessary in the soil to enable plant roots to function properly. So, to further stimulate this fungi I have dusted the beds with calcified seaweed (left). Calcified seaweed is considered to be a 'soil conditioner' and is reputed to stimulate mycorhizal activity.

The final step will be to add a thick mulch of organic matter ... but that must wait until the baby robins have fledged. This torrential rain may cause many early nests to fail.

Perhaps, one day, the soil at Cordwood will be as hearty as it is at our allotment (pictured right), about a mile down the hill.

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