Soil Improvers


 

Most soils are always in need of improvement at some time, and it can also be said, some soils more than others.

To some gardeners this can be quite daunting, particularly when they find that there is no simple cure all method.

This situation can be further aggravated when they (the gardener/s) listen to and/or read the comments of the gardening media and/or press who, in the interest of commercialism, describe a product/s in a manner that suggests it is a cure for all.

It is hoped the following list will help to address this anomaly.


A word of warning: always follow the instructions on the packaging of commercial products.

Sometimes giving in excess of the stated dose can be worse than not giving the plants anything at all.


Basic slag:



Bone meal:



Cow manure:



Decayed vegetable matter (Compost):



Dried Blood:



Fish, blood and bone:



Fowl droppings:


Prior to its use, it should be mixed with equal parts soil and allowed to dry.

Hoe in resulting powder spring and summer.

Alternatively, Place the fresh droppings (see rate below) in a string/hessian bag and immerse in a barrel of water for a few weeks.


Goat droppings:


Alternatively, Place the fresh droppings (see rate below) in a string/hessian bag and immerse in a barrel of water for a few weeks.


Green Manure:


Dig in top growth the following spring.


Ground Lime:



Ground Limestone: (Carbonate of lime)



Hoof and horn meal:



Horse droppings:



Hydrated Lime: (Calcium hydroxide)



Kainit:



Lime:



Magnesium sulphate: (Epsom salts)

Alternatively, Foliar feed as required


Nitrate of Potash: (Saltpetre)



Nitrate of Soda:



Pig manure:



Pigeon droppings:


Prior to its use; it should be mixed with equal parts soil and allowed to dry.

Hoe in resulting powder spring and summer.

Alternatively, Place the fresh droppings (see rate below) in a string/hessian bag and immerse in a barrel of water for a few weeks.


Quicklime: (Calcium oxide)



Rabbit droppings:


Alternatively, Place the fresh droppings (see rate below) in a string / hessian bag and immerse in a barrel of water for a few weeks.


Seaweed:


Analysis varies according to variety.

An average for fresh seaweed is; nitrogen 0.3% (7lb/ ton), phosphoric acid 0.1% (2lb/ ton), potash 1 % (20lb/ton).


Soot:



Spent hops:



Sulphate of Ammonia:



Sulphate of Potash:



Superphosphate:



Wood Ash:


The type of wood burned can have different results; e.g.

Ash from untreated wood has a slight liming action and can be used to raise soil pH.

On the other hand, older mature wood tends to contain lower concentrations of nutrients.

The actual nutrient content of ash varies, meaning precise application is difficult, listed below are a few suggestions;

In the event that some unknown product with toxic properties may have been burned along with the wood, it is probably safer to allow ash to ‘weather’ in a heap for a few weeks, before spreading it around growing plants.


Coal ash:




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