Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Concrete Soil!

Monday was a super September day. With clear blue skies in the morning. It warmed up nicely from an early morning low of 6.1°C to a pleasant 19.7°C in the afternoon.
Woody took up his morning spot at the top of the weather station pole, against a clear blue sky, to survey the garden and see what was on offer.

I decided it was time to prepare a bed on the plot for planting our autumn onion sets. I knew it was going to be a bit tricky as after three weeks of dry weather the soil doesn't break down easily into a fine tilth. The bed had grown a summer potato crop and had been dug over as the potatoes were lifted so it was a soil preparation job only.
After some cultivating, incorporating some fertiliser and much raking the soil eventually looked like this. It should be suitable for planting our onion sets in. There is a but coming though. Look carefully in the foreground and you will see the soil raked to one end of the bed which consists of gravel size lumps of soil that have the consistency of concrete and weren't going to break up into a suitable state.   
Then there were these lumps of soil. A couple of barrowfulls of rock hard soil were picked up and moved to another part of the plot. These can be whacked with the back of a spade and very little damage done. I'm hoping some rain and frost will break these down over winter and convert them back into soil for next spring.
The bed was finally covered with weed control fabric and a layer of manure laid on the top of this to keep it in place. All we need now are the onion sets for planting.


  1. I know the feeling.In the last couple of days I've been turning over areas on my allotment which had been cleared of summer crops.
    Started off using a fork but that produced large solid lumps.After a bit of rain today I got some better results using my two pronged hoe.It doesn't reach the same depth but on the other hand means less solid clay is brought to the surface.
    What I thought were improving soil conditions seem to have gone into reverse!

    1. I'm hoping some rain will sort out our soil. It's amazingly dry after a very wet August.

  2. You've done a good job on that bed. It's very satisfying to have things all neat and sorted ready for winter. When do you plant your onions and garlic? I noticed a left behind garlic bulb had six inch shoots on it today, which made me think I should have planted it already.


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