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Mulch for chalk soil

I want to mulch our flower beds to boost moisture retention and fertility. I'm looking at either well rotted manure or a compost that combines manure with a soil improver.

Any tips on which is best for chalky soil and how do I apply it when there are already lots of alliums coming through?

Thank you


  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy Posts: 6,750
    Unlike ericaceous soil I am not aware that you need a specific mulch for a chalk soil, but they are often described as "thin" so a mulch  is a good idea, which you choose will largely be down to cost and availability in your area. 
    in terms of application best when soil is already moist & frost free, your  Alliums should be able to push through it so long as you are not too heavy handed with it. You can always top up later if you are worried about damaging them.
    AB Still learning

  • Nicola149Nicola149 Posts: 17
    Thank you for your reply. I know that mushroom compost is too alkaline for us and I wondered if anything else was particularly good for adding organic matter. 

    I think I'll go for a few thinner applications rather than swamping the new growth with a thick layer.
  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy Posts: 6,750
    Oh yes Mushroom compost has added chalk in it as you are already on chalk you do not really want more. Well rotted Horse manure seems like your best bet, it's light (ish) and slightly on the acid side. Cow muck would be a bit heavy unless you can "dilute" it with something else.
    AB Still learning

  • Nicola149Nicola149 Posts: 17
    Great, thank you.  :)
  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    Horse and cow muck are great and you can add lots in autumn if you are worried about the plants. I have read that the very best stuff for chalky soil is pig muck but it is hard to get and malodorous to a fault.
  • FlinsterFlinster Posts: 883
    I have chalk soil with clay and to be honest anything will make it better! I’ve put manure and mushroom compost, spent compost, grass clippings..anything I can get my hands on. Mushroom compost is alkaline, but unless your planning on putting tonnes of it on it’s not going to affect your soil ph significantly.
  • Nicola149Nicola149 Posts: 17
    I think I'll steer clear of the pig muck! 

    Thank you all, v helpful.
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