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InglezinhoInglezinho Posts: 568

 Does anyone else here mourn the passing of peat like I do? A lot of substitutes have been touted but none as far as I am concerned cuts the mustard. I have to deal with a dry sandy soil and this summer it will be a toil to keep it watered. What do other UK gardeners do? Recently I have been experimenting with a totally artificial substance called Hydrogel with some success, but it contains no nutrients, so I have to apply a lot of fertilizer, which in itself worries me.

Everyone likes butterflies. Nobody likes caterpillars.


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,881

    We're on free-draining sandy loam over chalk - when we came here in 2011 it was more like sandy gravel than sandy loam - we dig in well rotted farmyard manure and homemade garden compost and leaf mould every spring before planting and the soil is nigh on fantastic now.  

    Yes, we do a bit of watering in dry spells, but that's gardening image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,863

    I miss good peaty potting compost,but I've never agreed with digging it into soil. My last garden had 12" of builders' sand as "soil" Over the 11 years we lived there, I raised the whole soil level by about 9" by doing as Dove does, garden compost / manure, anything I could get my hands on to make it hold water.. We're now on heavy Devon clay and I'm still at it , this time to break the clay down.

  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,414

    Dry sandy soil does not need peat, it wants plenty of part rotted compost, manure, Paper, Cardboard, self grown green fertiliser dug into it, digging peat in would be a waste of time money and something I miss badly for young plants having not found a good substitute, I do still manage to get some and the greens do not worry me, if big growers can still get it why not us old lads and lasses.

    My Father had sandy soil I often pass that old garden and it still grows wonderful vegetables though Dad is long gone. We dug masses of straw mixed with manure into it every year and the soil was wonderful, Hard work required I know but in the end you will get there.


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,581

    Sandy soil, dig in lots of FYM(well rotted ) every third year in veg patch (in rotation). If yo cant get that try mushroom compost. Use comost and above as mulch around permanent planting.

    Buy compost with peat in for seedlings. Peat is useful for acid lovers, you can still buy it by the sack , but far too expensive for general soil conditioning.

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