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Poor Soil ?

I'm at 1000ft on a sloping site, and my soil keeps getting washed away downhill. I have to feed everything all the time or I lose a lot of plants. Neither of us is fit or strong enough to dig in manure or carry heavy bags, so I tend to just use liquid plant food. I would really love to find another way to keep the garden going - has anybody any ideas what would last longer in the soil than liquid plant feed?



  • punkdocpunkdoc Posts: 13,704

    A series of terraces would be a good way to nullify the slope and help to retain soil.

    How can you lie there and think of England
    When you don't even know who's in the team

    S.Yorkshire/Derbyshire border
  • Blood fish and bone or some form of pelleted manure dug in to the soil. At least then you will be reducing the amount of liquid feed. The last thing you want to do on a slope is add extra water to it. Also, no idea what plants you have, but a few small trees or alrge shrubs staggered around the area will help bind the soil, as will perrenials that last through the winter.

  • mardathamardatha Posts: 28

    Are chicken manure pellets any good?

    Thanks both image

  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,275
    Chicken manure pellets are good but they don't give the same balanced feed that you get with blood fish and bone. On a site where you are constantly losing soil, and nutrients, you may have to apply the pellets more frequently.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,826

    What sort of garden is it - what sort of plants are you growing?


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

  • Your chicken manure pellets are good fertiliser but will not improve the friability of your ground.

    What I have done with my soil erosion problem is to create a series of shallow trenches which I have gravel filled, across the slope of the soil at intervals. On each trench I have used my post hole boring drill to create a soakaway hole down through the subsoil till I met bed rock. (chalk) The hole is also gravel filled.

    This stops the rain runoff flowing top to bottom.   Do you know what your subsoil is like ?

  • mardathamardatha Posts: 28

    I don't know what the subsoil is like but its not bedrock, I'm on the side of a grouse moor. I have made sort of mini-terraces where I've planted stuff - just wedged a big stone and scooped a hollow with everything I plant then packed it with good compost.

    I'm quite limited to the things I can grow, cannot grow pansies for the life of me and I don't know why. Can't grow anything tall for the wind, and anything even a tiny bit delicate sooner or later dies in winter - I can't keep Rosemary through winter (unless very mild) which annoys me to hell. Even mint took me ages and a special bed made of bricks!

    The neighbours don't have nice gardens at all, they seem to have given up. Just tough shrubs and veg.

  • North Yorkshire Moors ?

  • mardathamardatha Posts: 28

    I'm in the Scottish borders Curmudgeon, but I once saw the Yorkshires moors on a trip to Whitby (god knows how, but we got lost lol) and they looked like home- very similar. Behind me higher up it's all grass and heather. I can carry on with the mini terraces but need more goodness in the soil too. If I bought wee bags of horse manure would that help? be an expensive way of doing it but we can't shovel it through the house and the farmer who has the field at the back is so grumpy I wouldn't even ask image Plus he only has 2 horses, and sheep.

  • Yes, something like horse manure is definitely what you need. However if you have an access problem try and find a stables that can supply some well rotted down stuff , if you just get some sacks of straw and horse do by the time it has rotted down you will end up with very little in humus volume. Try and get some that is 2-3 years old and well composted. Often it means going round the back of the heap and digging down to the stuff buried at the bottom, find out who your real friends are !

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