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"compacted" soil?

Hi all,

I've been churning up the soil in our flower beds in an attempt to clear out the grass and weeds but after a couple of weeks it's now gone back to how it was - solid and "compacted" (but next to no weeds appearing as a plus!)

Below are a couple of pictures - let me know what you think..


  • foxwalesfoxwales Posts: 67
    Doesn't look too compacted to me, can you turn it over easily with a fork? Is it clumpy when wet? You can add in sand/gravel to help with drainage, doesn't look like heavy clay though.  Some good organic matter in it and keep turning it every so often will improve the soil.
  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286
    I agree it is not compacted. Compaction is a problem that generally happens below the top level, typically when people walk on wet clay, the soil a foot or so down gets squeezed together and typically causes drainage issues. It's more like my soil here, which when it dries out enough sets like concrete. Keep it broken, add organic matter, keep it watered. Don't be afraid to give it a good soaking the night before attempting to dig it over, you'll soon find the right amount of watering to get it 'workable'.
  • Shoxt3rShoxt3r Posts: 188
    Thank you both!
    Once it's wet it's pretty easy to turn over with a fork so I'll give it a good soaking tonight ready for digging it over tomorrow and see how we go :smile:

    Yes exactly Gemma - when the soil dries it does tend to set like concrete and then crack even after only a few hours of sunlight so maybe it just needs enlivening with some compost to get it going again - I assume that will give the plants a boost too!
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,201
    Some well rotted manure is the ideal solution for ground that gets solid [clay usually]  and it also helps with opening it up well and helping drainage in wetter spells.
    It might be difficult just now getting some, but it's worth trying later in the year, and laying it on your bed in autumn. It'll work in over winter  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

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