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Talkback: Preparing the soil for planting

what do other people do when putting on manure? leave it on the top for the weather to breakdown,or to dig it in?
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  • With the scare over the manure, I am wondering whether or not to use the manure pellets they are a little dear but it saves the heartache over if I am using chemical infected manure. As my compost is not ready this may be the case of safe then sorry.
  • For the past couple of years when we have had drier winters, I have been planting up potatoes in the Autumn. I read in a gardening magazine that someone was going to try this because volunteers always came up and they had been in all winter.


    I plant them in properly and cover the ground with paper sacks then compost to give a blanket against frost. As a Mum with two busy boys I find that I have more time in the Autumn when they are at school than in the Spring when there seems to be more going on. It stops me getting despondent in the spring with the long lists of tasks if I have my potatos, onions and broad beans in at this time of year.


    It has worked successfully for me, has anybody else tried this?

  • Need advice about the manure? When is the best time off the year to put manure on for allotment and weather to leave it or dig in?
  • I have never been able to grow broad bean successfully in my allotment-18 years of trying! They have always gone black and have given a very small crop. A teacher on a course I was on told me I must have a virus in my soil, so this year I grew them in pots, in potting compost, and had a much better crop. So don't despair if you have blackened broad beans, this may be the answer.
  • Liz, I have tried putting in just half a dozen spuds this autumn, in the hope of new potatoes for Christmas. They were only supermarket ones that I put to sprout (Nicola). I ridged them and put fleece over. Haven't tried it before, so was please to read about your autumn spuds. Have also put in garlic & onions, and broad beans will go in next week. I use compost as I haven't transport for manure. Much the same thing, just hasn't been through a cow!
  • Hi, anybody av any problems with their leeks, all ours av been attached by a grub that leaves the leek all slimy? the complete crop is ruined as is the other allotment holders.Its been suggested that the fly laying these eggs has come into this country only recently. Any information would be appreciated.
  • When can I grow spinach.
  • Hi i am nearly totally new to gardening have been growing plants (veg)in pots with some sucess how ever i would like to start a veg patch in garden now but am worried about type of soil and the depth that i can dig before i hit water in some parts off the garden only 2 feet down years ago i been told they made brick out off soil in my garden. and it is drys very quick. i thought off using Manure but having read your comments not so sure now. low buget.any helpful advice would be welcomed it is also north facing. All these facts have put me off doing gardening in this way other than using pots.thanks sue
  • If I was double digging the ground I would incorporate the manure into the space where the soil had been removed then put back the soil otherwise scatter the manure on the top and let the worms incorporate this into the ground.
  • I would never dig any deeper then a spade deep, You are digging into sub soil and this may not have any nutrients incorpaorated into it over the years. If it drys very quickly you may have a sandy soil so this could mean that everything is leached away very quickly. As you are north facing this woulfd also mean that the soil can be very cold. I my self would use a good fertiliser, good compost until you have your own and incorporate this into the soil giving you a good start and allowing the good bactiria and fungie to do the rest for you.
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