Author Topic: Why does plot seem at its most receptive when its almost winter?  (Read 512 times)

newspud9

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Last week I posted about the on-going difficulty (despite feeding generous amounts of organic material) in achieving decent soil structure in parts of my plot - particularly not helped by the temperature extremes this year.  Other beds fared better and in getting those cleared this week and ready for next season, the soil seems as good as it's been all year.  So maybe this post is as much an observation as a question..but I thought it ironic that just at the moment when I'm putting much of the plot to bed, the soil appears to be at it's most willing to accept planting.  I'm sure it's me and not Nature, but it just seemed a bit arse-backwards?!

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Obelixx

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Re: Why does plot seem at its most receptive when its almost winter?
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2018, 21:36:37 »
I think a lot of it has to do with moisture levels and soil temperatures.  In my last garden there was a period every spring and autumn when the soil was a delight to work, whether weeding or planting.  At others it could be hard, heavy, frozen, sodden, baked dry or claggy - mostly deep fertile loam on a clay subsoil but the potager end was especially tricky at times.

This garden is still a voyage of discovery but the soil has been unworkable for months because of drought.   The spade or fork can literally bounce if we try and dig bands of solid clay or sand as hard as rock.   Even the "good" bits where cattle have grazed and "improved" the soil for years are rock hard just now.
Obxx - Vendée France

Plot 18

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Re: Why does plot seem at its most receptive when its almost winter?
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2018, 18:06:51 »
I have clay soil, and the same windows in time when my plot is perfect for digging/forking over. At other times it is a PITA literally - sciatica here I come, if I try when it's too dry :(

I found this year that the soil under a mulch (even woven weed control fabric) was workable for much longer - so that's the way forward for me.