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How fine should soil be?

Hello, have grown flowers from seed for years and a few edibles in containers but am preparing a veg patch for the first time. Have sifted soil through a quarter inch which feels lovely like sand but am now wondering if this is too fine but have no idea how the soil should be. Any advice gratefully received. Thanks 


  • WaysideWayside Posts: 770
    edited 22 May
    I'd have thought compaction is your enemy.  Once you get roots in there, use mulch, and/or add organic matter that's probably all good for drainage/absorbtion etc.  Just use boards and avoid standing on it.  What's your soil type?  What's underneath?
  • alfharris8alfharris8 Posts: 3
    Hello, thank you for your reply. Not sure what the soil is. Having always done more container gardening where you use compost this is a new thing for me. When we dug out the earth it was quite stony and there is what I would describe as shale at the bottom. Have a pile of smaller pieces of earth and some small stones left in the unsifted pile. Should I consider replacing some of that to allow for better drainage? I have still to include some compost also. It was more a concern that the soil was too fine if there can be such a thing. It's a joy to rake. 
  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 1,857
    Is it very sandy? Clay soil comes in big solid lumps, sifting is not an option, but sandy soil can be very fine. Instead of adding compost, I would dig in composted manure. You can often get this from local horse owners who are glad to give it away, but garden centres sell it in bags, too.
  • alfharris8alfharris8 Posts: 3
    I think it must be sandy as it has sifted quite well. Thanks both for the replies so soon after my posting. First time using this so really pleased. 
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