SOIL CULTIVATION

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Addition of Organic and Inorganic Material (grit/sand/lime): Organic materials (Bulk Organic Matter): Farmyard manure (long for heavy soils/short for light soil) contains plant foods, becomes Humus. Good physical and chemical effect on the soil; generally acidifying. Garden compost: as above can be richer in plant foods; but unpredictable nutrient content. Leaf mould: good physical effect on the soil but limited/minimal plant foods. (See 2.2). Inorganic material: Grit and sand: addition of grit or course sand to heavier soils and digging in. Tends to improve surface penetration and surface drainage (but limited effect if the movement of water is impeded due pans or high water table); Lime: addition of lime to heavy soils to flocculate the colloids. Helps break down the soil (calcium carbonate/garden lime or calcium hydroxide/hydrated lime will alter the soil Ph, calcium sulphate Gypsum will not).

Mulch Avoid compaction