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yorkshire veg growers?

Discussion in 'Edible Gardening' started by ellwilll, Apr 21, 2012.

  1. ellwilll

    ellwilll Gardener

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    i think its just me bieng a newbie and not knowing how to grow anything, but hardly any of my veg seeds germinate in the clay soil outisde, and ones raised inside and hardened off quickly die...
    what stage are people from yorkshire (or further north) at with their veg plots? any hints or tips for how you deal with clay?
     
  2. clueless1

    clueless1 member... yep, that's what I am:)

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    Most of my area is on clay. Most people have no problem growing veg (although I'm fairly new to it).

    I remember when I was little and my dad was about as far on the learning curve as I am now, and he had a few disasters. Nowadays he's got it down to a fine art. The best piece of advice he keeps giving me (and I keep ignoring at my peril) is to add a month onto the earliest recommended sowing time, so if the seed packet says sow in March, then best sow in April.

    Apart from that, its not just about spring being a few weeks late up north, there's loads of factors. Is your clay soil excessively compacted? Is it in the shade/full sun? Is it exposed to the wind? Is it prone to waterlogging or drying out? Has it been fed? When was the last time some compost/manure was added?

    Loads of factors to consider.
     
  3. Jack McHammocklashing

    Jack McHammocklashing Sludgemariner

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    True gardeners will be along during the evening/weeked to give you full advice
    Meanwhile as a beginner too I will advise what I think

    You need to work the soil digging in plenty of organic material, and compost to get a finer tilth, with free drainage
    Secondly, always plant seeds at least two weeks later than it says on the packet or gardeners in the South (up here it is four weeks behind, too cold and wet)

    Welcome to GC
    Your friends on GC will post when they get here to help you

    Jack McHammocklashing
     
  4. ellwilll

    ellwilll Gardener

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    sorry to paraphrase you like that but i thought i may answer your questions to shed more light on my situation:
    its a little compacted but digging last spring and autumn and again this spring helped somewhat... its more 'big lumps the size of melons' than compacted
    it is full sun with ever so slight shade from a tree the other side of the garden.
    it is exposed to the wind,
    its not actually prone to waterlogging and drying, just consistently wet and sticky.
    its had (an estimate here) probably 1000 litres of compost and 200 litres of manure added over the past few years (2)
    i can never get this 'fine tilth' all the seed packets and magazines talk about.
    its about 8 ft by 10...
     
  5. clueless1

    clueless1 member... yep, that's what I am:)

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    If your numbers are close to right, then the organic matter content should be good. I put about 3000 litres into my garden (very compacted clay) a year or so ago. I cant really say how that compares to your situation as I didn't distribute it evenly, I had some areas that got a much higher concentration than others.

    It sounds to me like the soil is not the problem, unless we're talking about the very nasty kind of clay that often makes up the subsoil, or if its acid? What colour is it?

    It is also possible that it is acid. Round here clay soil often is. Do all your neighbours have beautiful roses and hydrangeas?

    Which part of god's own country are you in?
     
  6. Steve R

    Steve R Soil Furtler

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    I'm a little further north than you ellwilll in North West Cumbria and so far I have only planted potatoes outside, under cover I have all manner of veg growing away happliy, from the tenderest - toms and Chillis to the more hardy onions shallots leeks etc. I prefer to give as much of my veg as possible a head start by starting them under cover. Both my allotment plot and garden are on clay.

    With lumps of clay you have to work it, you can bash them from side to side with a fork, or "cut" them up with a spade, or generally work them with a rake or hoe. Clay is definately a lot of work and will be better in the long run as it holds onto nutrients better. There is no escaping the hard work though.

    I have found it can be easier to work when the clay is somewhere between sopping wet and bone dry as very wet it's slimy, and dry it's like concrete. I'll turn over a new patch of ground with a spade and chop it up a little with it too, a day or two's dry weather (wind also helps to dry the soil) will dry it enough to let me break it down with a garden fork, any longer dry weather and I will wet the soil myself to make it easier to work.

    As Clueless has said, I dont think it's the soil that's the problem, because some of your seeds are germinating, probably just the cold nights we have had recently.

    Can you post a few photo's of your soil/bed and tell us what plants/seeds you have been using?

    Steve...:)
     
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