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In the Dahlia Patch

16 Sep 2021 11:59 AM | Anonymous

Now is the time of year to prepare the soil for planting starting from mid-October.

A green crop planted in autumn can be chopped down and dug into the soil. Add fertilizers to encourage the soil organisms that break down the organic material provided by the green crop. If you did not grow a green crop, add organic material such as leaf mould, compost or manure. The ‘trench method’ of soil preparation – whereby the top soil is pushed to one side, a trench is dug, filled with organic matter, and then re-covered with the top soil – can be used.

If there is insufficient nitrogen in the soil, the surface mulch will deplete it further and create a problem with the growth of the plants and, in particular, the leaves and photosynthesis.

Tip from the Top

There is a distinct advantage in combining animal fertilizers like chicken, pigeon, sheep, cow and blood & bone if they are available to you. I also like to add some quality mulch (lucerne, pea straw, seaweed) at the same time in my trench. This absorbs nitrogen and releases it at a later slower (more controlled) rate to the plants, even when the surface mulch absorbs nitrogen as it breaks down.

Chris Michalopoulos, Life Member


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