rain and the soil

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tracie
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rain and the soil

Postby tracie » Wed Feb 12, 2014 2:48 pm

I suppose with all of the rain we are experiencing all of the nutrients will have washed out of the soil.

Will it be a case of applying some sort of fertilizer or do we need to add other materials to boost the soil again.

Thanks

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oldherbaceous
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Re: rain and the soil

Postby oldherbaceous » Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:30 pm

Dear Tracie, i have been giving this subject some thought over the last month. I'm no scientist but, i think that the soil can hold onto nutrients a lot better when they are locked up in organic material, than it does if it is a quick fix arftificial fertilizer. I'm sure all the levels will be a little lower, but i'm not over concerned with my soil, as i have incorparated loads of compost and farmyard manure over the years.

Funny thing is, years ago i built some retaining walls for someone that was doing some experiments on this exact subject at Silsoe Agricultural College.
He did explain a lot about the subject, but me being me, it went in one ear and straight out of the other. :)
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tracie
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Re: rain and the soil

Postby tracie » Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:40 pm

I sprinkled a load of rock dust at the start of the winter onto my raised beds, but I think I wasted my time.

I have added loads of organic matter over the years so I hope this will stand me in good stead this year, but it still is a concern.
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tracie
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Re: rain and the soil

Postby tracie » Wed Feb 12, 2014 4:43 pm

Just seen this which will be of interest to all.

http://home.bt.com/news/uknews/flooded- ... 3875456231

Tracie
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Re: rain and the soil

Postby oldherbaceous » Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:26 pm

Thank you for adding the link, Tracie, makes for some interesting reading.
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Re: rain and the soil

Postby FelixLeiter » Wed Feb 12, 2014 8:25 pm

An interesting read indeed. But full of flaws: I also agree with the comment immediately after the article that it should not assume that nutrients are leached out of soil due to flooding. River valleys are particularly fertile because of the nutrient-rich silt washed onto the land when a river breaks its banks — the Nile Delta is a particular case in point. Some years ago my vegetable patch was subsumed by an overflowing sewage pit for a while. I got terrific crops, delicious too. And clay soils are going to take more than a few days to be dry enough to sow or plant but at least nutrients will be retained. At Wisley, they're too used to their Bagshot sand.
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Re: rain and the soil

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Mon Feb 17, 2014 2:10 pm

After the wet summer two years ago I noticed that the brassicas in particular were much smaller than usual. I always apply lots of organic matter from the compost heaps and top up with growmore or similar but there was a noticeable difference. So last year I applied a large load of well rotted manure all over the garden and the difference was amazing. I haven't done the same this year as I don't feel up to spreading a couple of tons of manure, but I am going to apply a good helping of 6X or similar fertilizer and more compost to give everything a boost - when it stops raining.

So in my experience the nutrients do get washed out even if your soil contains p'enty of humous so you will get better crops if you add more compost or manure at least every couple of years and other fertilizers more frequently just to top things up.
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Re: rain and the soil

Postby Primrose » Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:49 pm

It's probably too late to try now but we always have loads of old newspaper and I,m wondering whether next autumn I I should spread thick layers of them over the bare surface of my veg patch before covering it with a layer of compost or manure. Would this rot too quickly over the winter or form a protective layer to prevent nutrients from compost and manure leaching away?
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