Posted on 12 November, 2016Comments (0)
Reading Julian’s farming notes in last month’s Villager I found that he was not ploughing his fields. He was cutting up the soil and disturbing the surface but was not turning the soil over. This has improved the soil and made it easier to work. He also makes sure that he does not compact the soil with heavy machinery in wet weather. We can learn from this.
I have had such bad drainage in one border that I have dug drainage channels, filled them with shingle, and dug soakaways for the water. We can all improve our soils by putting as much organic matter on them as we can find. The worms will take the rotting matter down into the soil. I once saw a lawn covered in small spikes. They turned out to be the long tough leaves of a cotoneaster which the worms had half dragged into the ground. Anything will do to go on the borders. Grass clippings, leaves, manure or garden compost will all rot down and feed the soil. If you do not mind it looking a bit untidy you can use the hedge clipper on the herbaceous border and snip all the dead stems into small lengths and leave them lying on the border. A quick sprinkle of leaves on top and it would look quite respectable. It would save you carting them away or worse sending them to the tip. Just be sure that the crowns of the herbaceous plants are not smothered. Hostas and plants with similar pointed growths will force their way through. This means that bulbs planted in the borders will also still appear. Think of snowdrops coming through the leaf llitter under trees. You will be amazed how moist your soil will remain under a generous mulch.
Enjoy Christmas and do not forget that a small job to keep the waistline trim is to cut the old leaves off the hellebores to keep disease at bay and show off their flowers in spring.
[Please note that this message is not posted on behalf of Bentworth Parish Council and does not necessarily reflect the Parish Council’s policy]