How To Use Horse Manure In Your Garden

 

Horse manure in garden

One of the main problems that gardeners have is making sure that their soil remains in top condition. One of the ways to do this is to add compost which is rich in nutrients and will aid plant growth.

Horse manure is ideal composting material and can be used as an organic fertilizer to super-charge your garden!

So what makes horse manure an excellent fertilizer?

Horse manure contains organic matter which, when applied to plants in the garden can give them the best start and enable them to grow more quickly and become stronger and healthier too.

Horse manure is Nitrogen-rich though it doesn’t have particularly high quantities of Phosphorus and Potassium, which is why it can work best on non-flowering plants.

For best results, horse manure should be given to nitrogen-hungry plants such as corn, potatoes, garlic, and lettuce and it can also be fantastic for boosting your grass lawn. However steer clear of adding horse manure to flowering and fruiting plants such as tomatoes, and peppers. Or if you do decide to use it mix it with other compost so it doesn’t inhibit the growth of fruit and flowers.

At Bury Hill, however, we supply stable horse manure which will work particularly well on roses and can be used throughout the garden.

Using horse manure in your garden should be done so carefully. If you want to use it as fertilizer it is important to use well-aged, thoroughly dried manure that can be worked into the soil without running the risk of burning the roots of your plants.

Horse manure compost

If you are looking for ways to improve soil conditioning, bring your rose beds to life, give trees and shrubs the best start or break up heavy soils than our horse manure could be the ideal solution.

Horse manure can also be used in throughout the year and needs no special treatment. Just scatter it over your garden area and work it into the soil. It’s as simple as that!

Horse manure can be a great way to give your garden a boost. However, you can also improve your soil in other ways. Browse our website for premium grade topsoil, soil conditioner, and composts and mulches too. If you have any questions or need some advice, get in touch on 01306877540 and our team will be happy to help.

Get Your Garden Wildlife-Ready This Spring

Gardening Wildlife - butterfly

Now that the warmer weather is upon us sitting out in the garden can be pleasant. What better way to enjoy the fresh air and the great outdoors than observing the natural wildlife that passes through or decides to set up camp in your garden? Birds, bees, insects and even hedgehogs can all thrive in your garden, given a little encouragement and to see it teeming with life is one of the greatest pleasures any gardener can have.

So what can you do to get your garden wildlife-ready this spring?

Attract more bees

Bees are incredibly important to our planet, and unfortunately, their numbers have sufficiently declined in recent years. To attract more bees provide colourful flowers such as lavender, poppies, and cornflowers. Wildflower seeds offer a great range of bright flowers and give gardens a beautiful rustic look. Bees are also fond of herbs such as thyme and marjoram, and the faint hum of buzzing bees can really be quite cathartic!

Encourage the butterflies

Vibrant butterflies fluttering around your garden adds colour and magic, so make sure you make your garden a haven for them. Butterflies are also fans of colour so get planting lots of blooms to bring them in. Butterflies also like to rest and do a little sunbathing of their own, and large flat stones can provide them with just the spot. Creating moist, shaded areas and small puddles for them to drink from can also see your garden become a favourite haunt of the butterfly.

Bring in the birds

Birds will naturally be attracted to anywhere they can get an easy meal, so set up bird feeders filled with seeds, raisins, and nuts to help make your green space full of beautiful birdsong. Remember to leave them some fresh water too, and you’ll soon see birds flocking to your garden for a tasty treat.

Invite the insects

Insects love cool, dark places to rest and shelter so leave large stones in shady, earthy areas and you’ll create the perfect pad for creepy crawlies such as woodlice, beetles, and caterpillars to rest.

Welcome the hedgehogs

If you have a larger outside space, you might think about inviting hedgehogs to come and visit. If your garden is enclosed, you can remove a small section of fencing to allow them to pass through. Food such as jellied dog or cat food can entice these woodland creatures in – but remember not to give them milk or bread as this can cause them to become quite ill. To ensure that other, more pesky animals don’t take advantage of the free food, you can put it in a plastic box
measuring greater than 30x40cm. You can cut a hole big enough for a hedgehog to get in but place a heavy stone on top to ensure foxes, seagulls and so on can’t overturn it.

Remember slug pellets can poison hedgehogs and if you have a pond, make sure you create some ‘ramp’ areas so if hedgehogs fall in they can crawl out again.

By following the tips above you can attract a wide range of wildlife and create a beautiful, radiant space where nature can thrive.

Do you have any tips for attracting wildlife to your garden? Share them with us here!

Smart ways to get your garden shed organised

Garden shed exterior with open door, tools, and plants.

With the weather getting warmer and spring plants beginning to emerge in all their glorious colours, there has never been a better time to get your garden organised. Prepare your garden now, so that when the sun comes out for real, all you’ve got to do is grab a great book, pull up a chair and enjoy!

Getting your garden organised not only means tidying up your plants, wiping down furniture and potting new blooms, it’s also about tackling the dreaded garden shed, and making it a practical and useful space that will make keeping on top of your gardening tasks so much easier.

We’ve all been guilty of letting our garden sheds become a dumping ground for anything that doesn’t ‘belong’ indoors. Quickly what was once the perfect place to access all your garden-related tools becomes stuffed to the rafters with things you don’t use or need, making it impossible to locate anything with ease.

So what can you do to put an end to the clutter, and get your garden shed in tip-top shape for summer? Try the following:

Put up some racks and shelves

Getting your garden shed sorted is all about making the most of your space. By putting up racks on the walls you can immediately hang gardening tools such as rakes and spades for easy access, and shelving can make room for pots, seeds, and tools that you can get to without doing yourself an injury!

Consider what you need to access most frequently

Before you decide where everything should go, it’s sensible to think about those items that you need to access all the time, compared with those that you use far less frequently. Make life easier for yourself by putting those much-used items nearer the front of the shed or in places you can grab them without having to wade through or stretch over other things to get to them.

Invest in some clever storage

Storage is crucial and thinking about the kind of storage you need to make the best use of your shed will help to ensure it stays ordered. Have a place for everything and sort items into different drawers, boxes or storage units to ensure that everything is kept separately and therefore reduce the risk of getting it all muddled and cluttered again.

Get labelling!

Once you have separated items into different storage compartments, you should label them clearly so that it’s easy to know where everything is. Perhaps more importantly, you’ll know where to put items back once you’ve used them too!

Use the entire height of the shed

Remember, it’s not only the walls you can hang things from but the ceiling too. Why not free up some space by investing in some vertical bike storage? You can keep your bikes dry, get to them quickly, but keep them from taking up too much room at the same time – it’s a no brainer!

By following the above tips, you can make sure that your garden shed is a neat, tidy and useful space that will mean you can access all your gardening tools and equipment without any hassle.

At Bury Hill, we offer a range of gardening and landscape supplies to make your garden looks great, from top-quality soil to lawn turf, woodchip and decorative stone we’ve got all the supplies you need to reshape your garden our outside area into an attractive and relaxing space, however big or small!

How To Use Railway Sleepers In Your Garden

Garden stairs made from railway sleepers

If you are looking to revamp your garden in time for spring, one of the easiest and most transformative ways to do so is by thinking about how you can neaten up your current space, create new areas for seating and planting and get it looking great in time for the warmer weather.

Railway sleepers are a fantastic and cost-effective way to create a brand new look for your outside area and work well in gardens of any shape or size.

What are railway sleepers?

Railway sleepers are used to help support the bottom rails in train tracks making sure they remain correctly spaced as well as providing support so that they stay upright. When railroad tracks were first laid railway sleepers were all made from wood, though now concrete is often used instead.

Of course, you aren’t planning to lay a railway track in your garden, so what are they used for here? Because of their shape and structure, railway sleepers are perfect to use in the garden to help landscape the space. Wooden railway sleepers can give your garden a sleek, designer look, without extensive effort or expense.

How can you use wooden railway sleepers in the garden?

Railway sleepers have many great uses. Here are some ideas of how you could use them to create features and separate areas in your outdoor space.

Raised flower beds

Using sleepers to create raised flower beds can give it a different dimension and add interesting shapes and beautiful colours too. For a more unique look, mix more weathered sleepers with newer ones to create contrast and exciting lines.

Retaining walls

If you have an area you want to separate, you could use railway sleepers to create a retaining wall to fence it off while also adding texture. So if you have a pool area or a dining or BBQ area, you can terrace your garden with railway sleepers and create different spaces for socialising and entertaining.

Garden pathways

If you want to create smart edges around your garden path, railway sleepers are the ideal material to give a more defined look. If you don’t have a garden path yet, you could create the outline using railway sleepers and fill in with gravel or bark. Larger sleepers could also be used to create the path itself using them as “stepping stones” to lead to a different area of your garden.

Feature steps, furniture, and seating areas

Wooden railway sleepers can also use used to create steps up to (or down from) raised areas of your garden. Similarly, railway sleepers can be used to create different seating areas in your garden too. Railways sleepers can be a great material to build simple wooden garden furniture such as tables and benches. You can even use railway sleepers to create eye-catching design elements such as a water feature complete with lush plants and pond ornaments, or even fish!

Decking & patios

Railway sleepers can also be used as an alternative to traditional decking boards. Sleepers offer a more rustic and arresting effect which can complement the plants and flowers growing in your garden.

Buying railway sleepers

There are lots of different options to choose from, and you may have to do your research to decide which type will look best in your garden, depending on your project and what kind of look you are going for. Aged wood can look more natural and blend seamlessly into your current garden design, or you could choose original reclaimed sleepers which will be treated to give them a longer lifespan. Newer varieties come in hardwood and softwood and a variety of different shapes and sizes. Hardwood sleepers tend to be better for building patios and retaining walls as they can withstand higher forces and footfall. Softwood sleepers are easier to manipulate.

Making the most of your railway sleepers

Should you decide to use railway sleepers in your garden, it’s a good idea to choose wisely as if the wood is in regular contact with moisture it may not last as long. Similarly, if you have to cut the wood to create certain features, the untreated core may then be more susceptible to damage. Treating timber can help to preserve the wood and extend its longevity.

Using railway sleepers in your garden is a great way to refresh the space, and there are lots of different ways this material can be utilised to significant effect. So if you are hoping to make your garden look fabulous in time for spring why not get planning and use railway sleepers to enhance your outside space?

At Bury Hill, we provide not only quality railway sleepers but also a range of soils, seeds and decorative stones to help gardeners create beautiful green spaces. If you have any questions or need any advice about your gardening project, give our friendly team a call on 01306877540 today!

How To Use Your Garden in Winter

Use your garden this winter - bird feedingWinter can be a quieter time in your garden, and even the most enthusiastic of gardeners may want to stay indoors when the colder weather strikes. However, especially in a country where winter can go on for a while, it seems a shame not to use your outdoor space for months on end.

So how can you continue to enjoy your garden over winter, and keep those green fingers green?

Here are some ways in which you can use your garden in the colder months:

Help wildlife survive

As lovely as it is to stay warm and cosy indoors over winter, it is important to remember that not everyone has the option! Feel good about yourself by helping the birds, and the bees have an easier time by leaving out seeds and water for birds as well as bird boxes if they need a place to shelter. You can also keep your garden bee-friendly by keeping your compost heap going, growing ivy which provides handy cover as well as nectar, growing winter flowers and creating twig and leaf piles for protection too.

Appreciate winter plants

Just because you might not want to spend hours sitting out in your garden over winter, doesn’t mean you can’t keep it looking good. Pretty plants such as Cyclamen coum, hellebores, snowdrops, crocus, and aconites all provide colour and interest over the winter months. So stock up on these seasonal plants and flowers, and then you can still admire the garden even if it’s from the comfort of indoors!

Have a good old tidy up

Winter is the perfect time to get your garden in ship shape before the warmer weather arrives. When the sun comes out you’ll no doubt want to spend more time gardening and just relaxing in your outside space so bite the bullet, put on a thick jumper and some good gloves and get out there to tackle all those slightly less glamorous jobs such as pruning, sweeping, sharpening your tools and organising your garden shed.

Utilise your greenhouse

If you are pining to plant or desperate to dig you can try to keep those winter blues at bay by heading to your greenhouse where you can grow citrus plants or start sowing seeds ready to transfer to the garden come spring. If the weather gets particularly severe rather than moving more vulnerable seedlings into your home, you can provide extra insulation by wrapping with bubble wrap.

Pay attention to your veg plot

While winter isn’t an ideal time for many plants, the great news is that many vegetables do well over winter and you can enjoy homegrown parsnips, leeks, winter cabbages, kale, and winter salad varieties too. Winter is also a great time to plant fruit bushes, raspberries, rhubarb and garlic which should come good later in the year.

Have a winter garden party!

Now that you’ve got your garden looking great why not celebrate by inviting your nearest and dearest over for a winter garden party? Wrap up warm, invest in a fire pit or chimenea, get some outdoor lights, mull some cider and enjoy your outside space despite the cold.

These top tips mean you can enjoy your garden all year round! For more gardening tips and advice why not check out the rest of our blog? And if your garden needs some TLC to give it a boost after winter frosts take a look at our range of topsoils, soil conditioner, compost and mulches, and lawn turf to help get it back to its very best?

New Year New Garden – Inspiration For Your Garden in 2019!

Inspiration for your garden - colourful garden wall

If you are looking to give your garden a makeover in the new year we have some great inspiration for your garden below. Follow these tips to create a unique, vibrant outdoor space that you’ll love.

Inside meets outside

If you have a courtyard, terrace or patio garden a popular trend for 2019 is to try and seamlessly blend the room leading into your garden with the outside space, thus creating a lovely flow – bringing a bit of your garden into your home and vice versa. Do this through smart decor decisions, colour themes, and soft furnishings to create a seamless and unique space.

Pots galore for a quick win

Pots bursting with an arrangement of colourful, vibrant plants can instantly transform any garden. Containers come in all shapes and sizes, colours and patterns and in a range of different materials too, so it’s so easy to put your stamp on your garden without having to do too much prep. Just choose your pots and plants, make sure you use high-quality soil to ensure their longevity and sit back and admire your handiwork with a nice cup of tea! Pots provide a perfect solution for the time-poor gardener, and if you get bored with your new look moving the positions of the containers, switching up the plants and flowers or swapping out the pots for different designs instantly gives you a fresh new look.

Real grass shows class

An impactful way to revamp your garden is to put a real lawn down. There is nothing more beautiful than looking out of your window to a stretch of lush green grass and laying lawn turf or planting grass seed can provide you with just that. Why not scatter some wildflower seeds in amongst the grasses for a colourful country garden look too?

Quirky planters to make your garden stand out

2019 is the year to get creative with your garden so why not think outside the box and use some unusual vessels to house your plants and flowers. Anything from a grand piano to a handbag, typewriter or wellington boot could add a touch of magic and imagination to your outdoor space.

Relaxing is what it’s all about

Gardens are there to be enjoyed, so make sure in 2019 you keep things simple. It’s all well and good having a beautiful garden, but if it takes up all your spare time maintaining it, you are missing the point. The joy of a great garden is to be able to sit back, breathe in the fresh air, admire the beauty of nature, soak up some rays, entertain friends, and enjoy the space you’ve created. So make your garden an area you can unwind in to ensure you make the most of it.

Eco-friendly is important

Look after the bees and the birds as well as other wildlife by making sure your garden is as eco-friendly as possible. Leave out bird feeders and water baths. Plant bee-attracting flowers and use natural weedkillers to make sure that you don’t upset any visitors that arrive in your garden. Buying hardier plants that don’t need too much watering and using a top-quality soil with great filtration will help to keep your garden healthy without having to use too much water. Recyclable pots, peat-free composts, and solar lighting are all plus points also.

Colour is the key to change

Garden furniture ranges used to be limited regarding colours and designs. However, now you can get garden furniture in any colour or pattern imaginable. You can also think about the colours of your soft furnishings,  decorative pathways and stones, pots, walls, flooring, lights and of course your flowers and plants. Say goodbye to dull, stiffly designed gardens in 2019 and instead get creative and go colour crazy for bright, striking spaces that will bring a smile to everyone’s face.

If you are looking to give your garden a facelift in 2019, use the tips above to make it as dramatic, lively and enjoyable as possible.

If you have a garden project and need some advice why not get in touch with our friendly team on 01306877540 today?

Winter Gardening Tips – What To Plant & What To Protect

winter garden

Winter can be a sad time for gardeners. The weather turns colder, the frosts make the ground unworkable, and all the beautiful blooms of spring and summer are but a distant memory.

Many people tend not to venture into the garden much during winter, and just let nature take its course until the milder climate returns. However, neglecting your garden during the colder months can mean you make life harder for yourself, and you could find that without a bit of love and care some of your more delicate plants take a beating, making it tougher for them to return to their former glory later in the year.

It’s also worth noting that a garden can be enjoyed all year round. Even if it’s just to admire it from the cosiness of your kitchen or living room. Many plants come into their own in colder weather, and you can still enjoy a vibrant, thriving outdoor space when winter comes a-knocking.

So let’s take a look at what gardeners can do to keep their gardens looking great this winter.

What to plant in your garden this winter

Plant out winter bedding. Winter bedding plants are an ideal solution to sad, bare borders. Choose hardy shrubs and plants with lots of foliage to bulk out these areas, bringing some greenery and life back into the garden.

Grow fresh food. There is nothing more satisfying than growing your own food, and greens such as lettuce, arugula and mustard, kale and Swiss chard can all do well in colder temperatures. There are plenty of root crops and brassicas that will develop over winter in time for a spring harvest too.

Invest in some colourful winter-blooming plants. If your garden is looking a little bleak then lift your spirits by injecting some colour. Plants such as winter hazel, witch hazel, and honeysuckle are elegant and attractive, and bulbs such as snowdrops, species crocus, and winter aconite can also bring a smile to one’s face as they pop up through the snow and let you know that spring is on the way.

What to protect in your garden this winter

Before the severe frosts arrive, make sure you protect your garden by thoroughly watering the soil. Once they come, you can keep shrubs and plants safe by mulching bases with shredded leaves,  bark or woodchip for added insulation.

Any newly planted trees or shrubs should be wrapped with a layer of burlap stuffed with an insulating material like dried leaves or straw to keep them safe from the frost.

Get your garden tidy and clear up fallen leaves, berries, and other debris from lawns, decking, and ponds before they decompose and cause damage.

Winter doesn’t just mean colder weather, but wetter weather too so raise plants in pots onto pot feet to stop them waterlogging. Outdoor containers will also benefit from insulation; bubblewrap can be used to protect plants from the cold.

Roses are prone to wind-rock which can uproot them and damage them irreversibly. By pruning them back, gardeners give roses the best chance of standing up to the high winds that winter brings.

Fruit trees are prone to winter moth damage, and by using grease bands around the trunks, gardeners can protect them from these pests.

Remember, it’s easy to focus on protecting your plants, but winter is a harsh season for all wildlife and putting out bird food can help hungry birds survive these months, and bring cheering life into the garden too.

If the unpleasant weather is too off-putting then why not bring a little of the outdoors inside? Growing bulbs such as paperwhite narcissus or amaryllis indoors can help keep gardeners fingers green without having to the brave the cold!

Keeping your soil in excellent condition is a year-round job. Make sure you don’t neglect your soil this winter and keep it healthy with our Soil Conditioner, Composts & Mulches.

By following our winter gardening tips, you can enjoy your garden throughout the seasons and make sure it’s healthy and protected over the winter months to get back to its beautiful, blooming best come spring.

 

Christmas decor on a shed

Wooden Garden Shed Maintenance – A Winter Guide

Wooden garden shed maintenance is an essential task that every garden lover needs to get done before winter hits.

Do these tasks now and you’ll help protect your garden shed from the harsh weather, prevent mould and mildew, stop leaks, protect your logs and kindling and help your garden shed to stay in great condition for many years to come.

Here’s our garden shed maintenance checklist to help guide you through the most important tasks.

Garden Shed Maintenance- Your Checklist

1. Clear away leaves and debris

Perhaps the easiest and most beneficial garden shed maintenance task you can do right now is to simply clear away any leaves, twigs or other debris that can accumulate around the sides of your shed. This will help prevent leaks and other damage from happening over the winter.

2. Install gutters

Every shed needs to have a good guttering system so you can direct rainwater away and prevent it from end up collecting in pools under your shed, causing the base and walls to rot. So now is the time to make that investment and get them fitted.

For extra eco-friendly brownie points, consider connecting the guttering to a water butt that you can use to collect rainwater for watering your garden.

3. Open those doors and windows

Even though it might feel cold outside, it’s just as important to open the windows and doors of your shed during the winter. This helps to keep the air flowing through, helps prevent mould and mildew forming inside your shed and helps keep nasty smells away.

4. Wipe away mould

Throughout the winter, one of the most important garden shed maintenance tasks you can do is to keep an eye out for mould growth on the windows, walls and doors. If you spot a problem, simply wipe away with a mild mixture of bleach and water to prevent it from spreading.

5. Apply a wood treatment

Every year, make sure you apply a wood stain or other wood treatment before the worst of the weather sets in. This will help your garden shed to stay in great condition for many years to come. We recommend you use a water-based treatment these are quick to dry and provide great protection against the elements.

6. Oil those locks and hinges

There’s nothing worse than coming to open up your shed in the spring and finding that your locks and hinges have become rusty and broken. Prevent this from happening by applying regular sprays of oil throughout the winter.

7. Give the roof some attention

It’s also worth checking your roof for wear and tear before the winter arrives. If it’s damaged, any rain, snow or ice could seep through to the wood of your shed. This could cause structural damage or leaks which could prevent any logs or kindling from staying dry throughout the winter months.

8. Check those windows & doors

Windows and door frames can also be very vulnerable to the elements, so make sure you give them some TLC before winter sets in. Gently wash the frames with soapy water, dig out any rot, fill with exterior grade wood filler then treat as necessary.

Follow our wooden garden shed maintenance checklist and you’ll protect your garden shed from the harsh winter weather and keep it looking great well into the spring.

 

railwaysleepers

Using Railway Sleepers in Your Garden: Project Ideas for Homeowners

Railway sleepers are those rectangular pieces of wood that you’ll see supporting railway tracks. They help the rails stay evenly spaced, upright, and in the correct shape.

But did you know that they’re also fabulous for creating stunning garden features?

Use them in your garden project and you’ll transform the look and feel of your garden, and perhaps even make the neighbours green with envy.

Here are some tips on how you can include railway sleepers in your garden, including project ideas, how to lay railway sleepers and where you can buy them.

Railway sleeper project ideas

Railway sleepers make a versatile, attractive and hard-wearing addition to any garden, adding natural texture and an eco-conscious feel to your outside space.

Here are our favourite ways you can use them.

1. Create a path

Make a great easy pathway on grass or gravel to add a touch of rustic chic to your outdoor space.

2. Build some garden steps

If you’re not a fan of bricks or stone, why not use those sleepers to make some steps instead? You can create the exact garden look that you want, they age really well, and they’re very straightforward to make.

3. Edge your veg

You could also use your railway sleepers to create an attractive boundary between your vegetables, flowers and the rest of your garden.

4. Build a raised bed

If you have poor soil quality, minimal space or you’d just like to keep your plants contained, use those sleepers to create a raised bed.

5. Craft a bench

Railway sleepers can also be used to create a stylish and rustic-looking bench which will fit perfectly in your garden design scheme.

6. Border your lawn

To create an effortless boundary for your lawn, lay some railway sleepers and then sit back to enjoy your handiwork!

Laying railway sleepers

Once you’ve decided which project you want to tackle, you can get stuck in! Here’s how:

Gather your tools

You only need a bare minimum of tools when you use railway sleepers in your garden. Usually, this involves a saw, a hammer, a screwdriver, wood screws, nails, a spirit level and safety equipment like gloves and goggles.

Clear the area

Before you start laying the railway sleepers, you also need to ensure the area is clear from unwanted vegetation and materials like rocks, roots and rubble.

Create your foundations

Next, you’ll need to prepare the area and then dig a shallow, level trench (unless you’re creating a piece of garden furniture), then add a bedding mixture to hold those sleepers in place. This will create solid foundations for your project.

Get building!

Once you’ve done this, you can start building your creation, using a combination of wood screws, nails or galvanised straps.  Make sure you use your spirit level to keep everything looking professional.

Finish off

Then it’s time to trim away any excess material, gently round the edges of the wood and treat using a wood preservative if required. If you’re creating a planter, this is when you’d add your high-quality topsoil before standing back and appreciating the fruits of your labour!

Voila! You’re done.

Where can you buy railway sleepers?

The good news is that it’s easy to find railway sleepers for sale these days. You can find them in most garden centres and also online.

If you’re looking for railway sleepers in Sussex, Surrey and London, look no further than our dedicated page.

Railway sleepers add a unique touch to any garden space, so why not dive into one of these projects and transform your outside space?

premium grade topsoil

What Causes Poor Soil Quality and How Can You Fix It?

Poor soil quality is every gardener’s worst nightmare.

There’s nothing worse than carefully planning and creating your perfect garden, only to produce vegetables, fruit or flowers that are weak, unhealthy and altogether disappointing.

Without healthy soil, all your gardening efforts could be in vain because healthy soil is essential for strong, nutritious, high-yielding plants that can resist pests and diseases and look beautiful in your garden.

If this sounds like your garden, don’t despair. Poor soil quality is a relatively common gardening problem. With some topsoil TLC, it can soon be improved.

So today let’s discuss how to spot if you have poor quality soil, why this happens, and how buying high-quality topsoil can help.

How do you know if your soil is poor quality?

Poor quality soil is usually very easy to spot because of its appearance, water drainage, the quality of your crops, and the presence or absence of weeds and other wildlife in your garden.

Soil texture

Soil that is hard to work, overly cloddy, loose, fine and sandy, ‘floury’, or filled with stones and pebbles are of poor quality. You’ll notice that any water tends to absorb water poorly and drain poorly. drain poorly and potentially flood.

Crop quality

If your tomato crop constantly suffers from blight or diseases, your cucumbers don’t grow as large as they should, or you suffer from other problems with crops or flowers, you are probably suffering from poor soil quality.

Local wildlife

Another surprising way you can tell if your soil is poor quality is by looking at the wildlife that visits. If there’s less healthy wildlife such as worms and bees around, and/or an excess of weeds, it’s time to improve that soil quality!

What causes poor soil quality?

Poor soil quality is often caused by one of these five factors:

  • Over-farming. Growing too many crops in one space year after year removes essential nutrients like nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus from the soil.

  • Infrequent crop rotation. Without adequate crop rotation, the demand for the same nutrients is high, leading to a long-term shortage and poor quality soil.

  • Draught or water shortages. Dry soil causes essential nutrients to gather in ‘clusters’ in the soil, making it much harder for those plant roots to reach.

  • Flooding or heavy rain. Soil that is overly wet will leach nutrients and essential topsoil can wash away.

  • Soil contamination. Overuse of toxins or chemical can contaminate the soil and reduce soil fertility.

  • New homes. A large portion of the healthy topsoil gets stripped away during home building, leaving behind poor quality soil that is less fertile.

How to fix poor quality soil

Thankfully, improving your soil quality and growing better plants is easy.

Pop to your local garden centre and select a high-quality topsoil that is high in nutrients and organic matter. (We provide topsoil and landscape supplies in Sussex, Surrey and London that would be perfect for the job!)

These topsoils are great for all garden purposes including improving your existing soil quality, and creating new beds, borders, raised beds or even lawns.

Topsoil prices vary, depending on what grade soil you choose:

  • Premium grade topsoil: Highly fertile, great structure and should be free from weed seeds.

  • General purpose: Great for creating new beds, borders and for laying new lawns. Comes in different screen size grades.

  • Economy: More affordable. Usually comes unscreened. Ideal for increasing the quantity of soil in your garden.

If you are struggling with poor quality soil, remember that there is hope. Simply invest in some high-quality specialist soils and you will soon produce a beautiful, healthy garden to be proud of.