Forums DIY Gardeners – compost question
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    • #232
      22 Posts

      We have 2 tiny flower beds in our courtyard and a bigger flower bed in the communal drive. The ground is now full of weeds thanks to the recent weather so we’re hoping to do some tidying up and planting over the weekend. The ground seems to be clay. Is it a good idea to add some compost at all? If so, what type?
      I know a farmer with a rotted muck heap I could take from if that’s a good idea, although I don’t massively fancy bagging it up and having it in my car!
      We’re planning on just using some natural wild flower seed mix in the bigger path and probably veg and flowers in the patio area. New to having a garden so anything I should know would be appreciated!

    • #233
      3 Posts

      Well rotted manure is ideal to lighten up heavy clay soil, anything mixed in or even left on top to be taken down by worms will help, wild flowers are not as easy to grow as you might think they should be, they can be very fussy where they grow, more expensive but more reliable would be a selection of mixed bulbs, I planted a couple of cheap bags last spring from Aldi and they have established well already whereas seeds tend to be more delicate, a mix of the two may work.

    • #234
      23 Posts

      Try to identify the weeds before you buy plants. If you have perennial weeds like ground elder you will need to eliminate them before investing in nice plants. Wild flowers will grow best on unmanured ground, with veg it depends on what you want to grow – courgettes and beans love rich soil.

    • #235
      13 Posts

      I wouldn’t bother doing much work in the garden during the first year, just sit back and look at what plants are already there, and how they grow.

      Daffodils, tulips and grape hyacinths are good bulbs to plant in grass areas. They give nice flowers; dead-head them as they finish but allow the leaves to keep nourishing the bulb for another few months, before cutting them back to ground level and allowing the grass to grow over them.

      Before getting your hopes up with regard to vegetables, check how many slugs and snails you have…

    • #236
      10 Posts

      If you have big areas to plant/clear, you can put down thick card and manure on top. The card will kill off the weeds and break down, at which point the worms drag manure into the soil.

      If you want wildflowers, don’t feed the soil. They do better on poor soil so leave off the manure for that bit.

      Lots of veg does well in pots – I use 42L trugs to grow carrots, peas, raspberries, yacon, salsify, root parsley and runner/climbing beans in, but I am lucky & have an allotment to grow the rest in. In terms of compost, I choose to use peat-free as peat bogs are a dwindling resource. SylvaGrow, Dalefoot and the new MiracleGro peatfree offering are all reliably good brands of those – I had dire results from GroSure.

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