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Improving Clay Soil

Hi there

I've finished rotavating clay soil and digging out builder's rubbish in my new build garden, before I do anything else I'm guessing the next step is to improve the soil. 

Which would you recommend to help break down the clay soil and improve drainage; soil conditioner and horticultural grit? Or manure and horticultural grit?  

Please can anyone suggest a good supplier for bulk compost? Been looking online but sooo many would help to have a few recommendations, I've seen bad reviews for Compost Direct will steer clear of them.  I'm in North West so preferably a national supplier.

Thanks for your help!



  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391

    I would go with well-rotted manure and grit every time.  If you can't find a local supplier of manure (local newspaper is always worth a look), the grosure 50l bagged manure is good stuff and available for delivery from places like wickes.  Put down at least 4 inches to make a worthwhile difference.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • BeedgaBeedga Posts: 3

    Thanks Bob! 


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,258

    Try local stables. They often will let you have it for a small amount. I get a local farmer to deliver a tipper load.  £40 for a huge amount that lasts me two or more years.

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,553

    Rotted stable manure is best. IMHO but I'm too tight to buy horticultural grit. Have a look around at builders' merchants and see if they have any small grade "pea shingle" , especially if they can deliver loose by the load, much cheaper than bagged anything. You might find some which is small enough to use in the garden

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