In order to landscape the garden we have lifted and replanted clumps of Snowdrops and Daffodils, along with removing the remaining trees and shrubs.
We still need to ‘grub up’ the remaining roots and it is also necessary to spray the area to eradicate any perennial weeds. This may all sound a bit drastic but it is important that the ground is prepared properly.
We plan to avoid the use of chemicals but there are several persistent weeds on site (Docks, Dandelions, Couch Grass, Ivy and Few-flowered Garlic - Allium paradoxum) that need to be removed before any soil preparation or planting takes place.
Many perennial weeds can reproduce from very small root parts and we run the risk of spreading them through the garden as we landscape. We believe that using a weed killer at this stage will allow us to use non chemical techniques in the future.
All weeds will compete with crops for water, light and nutrients, but perennials can be particularly difficult to remove once established amongst the intended fruit and vegetables.
The results from our recent soil analysis show we have a slightly acidic soil (pH6.2) which is ideal for most fruit and vegetable growing. The nutrient levels are also good, but we will still improve the soil by adding organic matter (compost or manure).
Organic matter is the wonder substance for growing as it: increases the soil’s ability to hold moisture, but simultaneously aids drainage; provides a slow release of nutrients to the crops; and increases the soil’s micro fauna to create a healthy soil system. All of this ensures strong and vigorous plant growth.
Head Gardener, Casa San Lorenzo
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