What veg and salad can be grown in clay-flint-chalk soil?

Thank you for the advice on indoors growing. Now the time for 'being brave'.

Have been a bit disappointed by efforts in recent years to grow veg and salad outdoors. Cabbages, swedes and other veg have all failed in a horrible clay flinty soil that also contains chalk. Is there anything that can grow in those conditions?

Mainly I've used big plastic tubs filled with organic compost. Depending on the weather, I've grown onions, spring onions, lettuces and radishes. Carrots and parsnips have generally been ok but very thin. I get strawberries but not raspberries.

How should I diversify to make the most of my garden which is small and on a hill?






  • Hi Bob...The first thing I would do is to incorporate as much well rotten compost or manure that you can get hold of. You could also try growing a green manure and then dig that in. These will all help to break up the soil and give it a better structure. Then try to get a form of crop rotation going. You say that growing in tubs of organic compost works...well all you will be doing is copying that form of gardening to the open ground.

    Keep root veg off  recently manured ground as they don't do well on it. Try to get them about third in line of your crop rotation so that most of the manure is used up by the time they go into that section of ground.

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