Help with heavy clay bed

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Rich.H
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Help with heavy clay bed

Post: # 272921Post Rich.H
Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:51 am

I have recently pulled up most of the concrete front yard for a veg garden. While the main section has been dug out and replaced completely, I still have one small strip Approx 60cm by 300cm that needs to be dug.

Currently with work and other things in life I know I will not have the time to do this anywhere in the next two months. I'm also not will to pay someone just to dig it over. With this in mind I don't want to leave it just sitting so wonder if there are any plants edible or not that will give me a head start in breaking up this clay mess?

clare
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Re: Help with heavy clay bed

Post: # 272922Post clare
Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:09 am

I have sandy soil so could do with something to bulk it out.........
Grow it,make it ,eat it, drink it and sleep well!

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Green Aura
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Re: Help with heavy clay bed

Post: # 272924Post Green Aura
Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:50 am

Plant spuds, they will help to break down the clay over the growing season. Then next year, or when you have the time I'd add some of it to your new soil. Clay soil is highly nutritious - you may regret having got rid of it all!
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oldjerry
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Re: Help with heavy clay bed

Post: # 272932Post oldjerry
Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:49 pm

Metric does my head in...is that near enough 2'x5' ??

If it is why not get 3 condemned scaffold planks (or similar) and make a raised bed. Fork over surface clay very lightly fill the 7''(or so) depth with spent Mush comp,or bags of conditioner from the recycling place,or soil or whateer and using perhaps home made mini tunnel if you want make a bed for early salads etc??

GeorgeSalt
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Re: Help with heavy clay bed

Post: # 272935Post GeorgeSalt
Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:45 pm

Green Aura wrote:Plant spuds, they will help to break down the clay over the growing season. Then next year, or when you have the time I'd add some of it to your new soil. Clay soil is highly nutritious - you may regret having got rid of it all!
Spuds only work because you have to dig them in and then dig them out again.. but if there's not time for digging, how do you get the spuds in?

6" of muck on top and the worms will have a good go at that clay soil for you.
Curently collecting recipes for The Little Book of Liqueurs..

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diggernotdreamer
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Re: Help with heavy clay bed

Post: # 272938Post diggernotdreamer
Wed Mar 27, 2013 5:10 pm

GeorgeSalt wrote:
Green Aura wrote:Plant spuds, they will help to break down the clay over the growing season. Then next year, or when you have the time I'd add some of it to your new soil. Clay soil is highly nutritious - you may regret having got rid of it all!
Spuds only work because you have to dig them in and then dig them out again.. but if there's not time for digging, how do you get the spuds in?

6" of muck on top and the worms will have a good go at that clay soil for you.
cept no dig spuds, never dug a spud in in my life, start off all my beds with a layer of compost, lay on seed spuds, cover with a bit more compost and straw or hay, then over the season earth them up with lawn mowings as I get them, garden on the worst of heavy soils and now have a lovely deep soil after only 3 years, no spade work at all, when you harvest, just move the mulches off and get them out, may need a fork in places, I agree with OJ and would use boards to make beds.

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Odsox
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Re: Help with heavy clay bed

Post: # 272941Post Odsox
Wed Mar 27, 2013 6:12 pm

oldjerry wrote:Metric does my head in...is that near enough 2'x5' ??
Me too OJ, can't see why they didn't wait until I was dead before imposing it upon us :lol:
But I think it's closer to 2' x 10'.

If you don't want to grow potatoes then I would suggest giving it a good covering of lime, with a covering of compost/grass mowings/whatever on top. The lime will floc the clay particles and make it a lot easier to dig when you do get time.
It would also help to put a layer of coarse sand or fine gravel on top of the lime as that would help the structure of the clay as well.
That would also help if the follow advice here and make a deep bed by improving the drainage.
Tony

Disclaimer: I almost certainly haven't a clue what I'm talking about.

oldjerry
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Re: Help with heavy clay bed

Post: # 272943Post oldjerry
Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:00 pm

[quote="Odsox"]
But I think it's closer to 2' x 10'.

Doesn't take much imagination to picture my efforts at DIY..........

Just a bit out then. Further musings,what a great size for a raised strawberry bed.

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