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Help! Decayed rubble! Any suggestions?

TherapymumTherapymum Posts: 8
I am trying to sort out my garden which is heavy red clay and is extremely wet in winter. I have put a good deal of effort into getting compost & manure into most of it, but have just started in a new patch which I have found is full of decaying bricks and stones. There are sandlike deposits all through it. However, I am concerned that this may be a mix of sand and salt and therefore might not be good for planting. The layer underneath the rubble, about 1ft+ down is still heavy red clay. Any advice? I was about to plant a pillar amelanchier and I don’t want to kill it! 


  • FireFire Posts: 18,947
    Hi, why do you suspect there is salt there?
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  • TherapymumTherapymum Posts: 8
    The house is 65 yrs old. But it is one of a group built around the same time. Don’t think it’s a foundation as it’s a mixture of broken bricks, stones, and broken concrete bits. It looks more like builders cast offs. Yes I have thought about raised beds and I think that’s a possibility, especially after how long it took me to clear a patch 6ft x 3 ft. Out of that I have lifted 2 very large tubs worth of brick, stone & concrete mix but that took several hours. Don’t know if I fancy trying to dig out a pond, especially after today. My neighbour suggested just putting it all to grass but I really enjoy plants & watching them grow. Do you think the sand- like stuff would do damage to anything that goes in? 
  • TherapymumTherapymum Posts: 8
    Hi Fire
    just because of the sand-like stuff coming from the stones and bricks really. I live just outside Glasgow so sandy soil is highly unusual, and with all the rubble I thought it might have leeched out of the bricks and helped decay the stone pieces. And under this layer, about 15” down it’s the usual red clay. 
  • plant pauperplant pauper Posts: 6,904
    Someone on another thread is looking for stuff to fill gabions. There's always someone looking for that kind of thing. 
    Me but you're too far away. 
  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053
    Just dig out and dispose of all the rubble and dig what's left in. Should not be a problem for your plants.
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • LynLyn Posts: 23,190
    If you live in the country local farmers like that sort of stuff in their gateways to the fields.  One way to test if it’s salt, dab your finger on and taste it. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • TherapymumTherapymum Posts: 8
    Thanks everyone! Some good ideas here. 
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