AS IF WE haven’t got enough with our own vegetable patch, we’ve taken on a small
bed at Barbara’s mum’s where a small greenhouse once stood. Over the last 3 years
we’ve dug garden compost into the soil and last year we spread a thick mulch of composted
bark over the surface.
The clay soil was originally compacted but now it’s heaped up to 18 inches above
its original level and it’s developing a crumb structure. It’s only around the edges
that it has remained solid and sticky.
Each year we’ve grown a few potatoes, which has helped break up the soil, while runner
beans have added nitrogen, as we leave their roots, with their nitrogen-fixing nodules,
in the ground when we cut back the plants at the end of the season.
This year we’ve added a couple of bags of spentmushroom compost and one bag of composted
farmyard manure. Just what the soil needs.