CONTINUING the theme on soils and gardens in general. Additives are a wonderful way of giving your garden that extra bit of oomph!
Whether in the form of mulch or actual soil products themselves, many of these can be purchased from your local nursery or garden store.
There is every application one can think of and some of which we will cover today.
We’ve talked about digging in organic matter to improve what you have in the garden, how the ‘food left overs’, (that stuff you normally throw away) can be dug in to value add to the soil you have.
There are many soil conditioners that one can use that are left from feeding the family.
Some of these are coffee grounds, tea leaves, food scraps and other materials such as lawn clippings, shredded paper, seaweed, straw and blood and bone, however anything that can enrich the soil is okay.
Another way to retain water in your garden is to use a wetting agent which can be worked into the soil or added afterwards.
These have value at times but care should be taken that not too much is used at any one time. Otherwise, a wetter than intended area could develop and ruin your patch.
Some gardeners have tried lightweight foam type flakes called hydrocell that is worked into the ground and helps to retain moisture.
Using fertilisers can help in your garden as they contain nutrients essential to plant growth.
There are many types available and come in all forms of applications from solid to liquid.
Pellets are best to sprinkle around your plants and easy to distribute while the liquid fertilisers come in self-mixed bottles (always dearer) or in powder form for which water is added, then sprayed onto the plant, however this can be a pain if time is of importance.
Some powders can stain so be aware of its mixing qualities.
Coconut fibre is often used in gardens and come in bags or bricks.
The brick is made from the pith of a coconut shell and is compacted and when mixed with water expands to allow you to dig in to the soil, allowing a degree of water retention as well.
Coir fibre is available to spread as a mulch around your plants.
As said previously, there is a huge range of applications for the garden out there in the shops with bags of this or that ready to meet your needs.
Study the advice on the packets or bottles and make sure that what you want is that particular product. It’s not the first time that someone has ruined their lawn by applying ‘weed and feed’ to their grass without first making sure that it was okay for that type of lawn.
The first of the digitised editions that ‘The local Ipswich News’ have published, (September 8, 2021), dealt with different types of mulches that one can use in the garden and deals with their value to the soils.
So have a look at this copy and if time permits look up the rest of the ‘Lazy Gardener’ copy in each weekly edition. There’s bound to be something of interest for you.