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Replacing compacted soil - can it be done?



  • Reluctant_GardenerReluctant_Gardener Posts: 284
    edited July 2019
    I'd start with a huge compost heap. One can buy compost but can work out expensive to remediate a heavy clay soil. At least cubic metre bays to get sufficient heat to compost at sufficient speed. As you won;t be generating sufficient feedstock for that I suggest asking family, friends, neighbours, local coffee shops for kitchen waste (sans tea bags) grass clippings an the like for nitrogen and paper shreddings, kraft cardboard for carbon so it doesn't smell and collect street leaves in autumn. Usually getting enough carbonaceous material is the challenge for composters.

    You could hedge round the compost area so as not to spoil the amenity of the view
    For the lawn you could hire an aerator which takes thin plugs out of the soil and brush in washed sharp sand (no point buying horticultural sharp sand it's the same stuff. Or do it manually with a garden fork. Cut open sacks of sharp sand from a builders' merchant and let the rain wash it out.
    I'm not sure they've covered lawn maintenance much on GW but you might find Beechgrove and other videos on lawn aeration. Repeating over a few years as more sand will be on the current lawn improving drainage. you could consider levelling and overseeding the lawn.

    A landscaper will have the straight edge rails, pegs, water levels and the like to level it pretty quickly. rails but it's going to take a lot of topsoil / compost.  It's better to seed that sort of area than turf it. You'll get a wider range of seed mixes to meet your needs than turfs  -search for "amenity grass seed". 
    If you're doing something ornamental or productive you'd be better breaking that area up. Designers tend to stagger things so there's something round the next corner rather than having everything within one vista.

    For the soil heaps of garden compost/ well rotted manure. A tonne bag or two per 10 sq m if it's seriously compacted.
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