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Does your garden grow UPWARDS - soil level increase

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by Stuart Fawcett, Jul 7, 2021.

  1. Stuart Fawcett

    Stuart Fawcett Gardener

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    It seems that paving stones that used to be above the grass level gradually sink below the grass level, and flower borders next to paths and fences rise up to also be above them too.

    Yes we mulch from time to time and add in new pots with their compost. But doesn't mulch & compost eventually rot down; And paving slabs can't settle down for ever!

    I imagine in a decade or so our garden might be getting on for a full foot higher up than our neighbours - is this just me?

    What we also notice is that now, a decade on from moving in to this house, is that the soil structure is much less like river silt ( black/slimy in winter and dust in summer) but now generally much more soft and easily diggable. Is the soil itself growing up around us as well?
     
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    • NigelJ

      NigelJ Total Gardener

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      @Stuart Fawcett
      The mulch you add does rot down, but fairly slowly, but as it breaks down it changes the nature of the soil as you have observed. As it breaks down it leaves a variety of humic acids, fragments of cellulose, lignins, tannins etc all of which act to stabilise soil structure, to retain moisture and nutrients. Your mulches also encourage the growth of fungi in the soil that also act to stabilise the soil and hold nutrients.
      Probably won't get a foot higher in the decade, but it will be better for plants.
      Earthworms move a lot of soil as Darwin observed Darwin's Worms
      Searching the internet for Darwins worms throws up selection of interesting material.
       
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      • pete

        pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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        I put a paving slab on the lawn a few years ago as a quick fix for some thing I was doing at the time.
        It never got moved in the end, but after a couple of years it was level with the grass .
        I think it was worms myself. :)
         
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        • Sheal

          Sheal Total Gardener

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          I've noticed that slabs get lower too but my garden is on bedrock and rocks in the lawns work their way to the surface. Why the difference I wonder?
           
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          • pete

            pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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            My guess is the worms excavate the soil out from under the slabs and move it surface around the slabs.
            If its bedrock they cant do that, but it must be the soil level lowering as surely the bedrock isn't rising.
             
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            • HarryS

              HarryS Eternally Optimistic Gardener

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              I have circular pavers on my lawn for large plant pots, they have all sunk to just a smidge above grass level.
               
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              • Sheal

                Sheal Total Gardener

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                You are probably right Pete. The soil here is very shallow and being sandy loam is not the best. I've recently had fencing and gates installed across the drive and this below is what came from the holes. It looks more like cement than soil.

                IMG_6196.JPG
                 
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