Hints and Tips Jan 2017

8 Steps to the Perfect Soil

Without good soil, flowers, trees and shrubs will not grow easily.

However, we cannot determine the quality of the soil where we live, and cannot choose its make-up or structure. But, with special care, good compost and the best possible tools, the real goodness of the soil can be uncovered.

1. Breaking up the soil

After the winter months, the soil remains encrusted and compacted. Breaking up the earth in the early spring thoroughly loosens the earth and allows fresh air and water to penetrate the soil more easily. Using the Wilkinson Sword 3 Prong Cultivator you simply prevent the upper layer of soil drying out. Your efforts will be rewarded. When the upper layer becomes dry, the moisture at root level is retained.

2. Crumbling

Prior to sowing or planting it is useful to break down coarse soil. Using the Wilkinson Sword Soil Rake crumble the rough structure of the upper layer of soil directly after breaking it up. The loosely crumbled soil stores moisture more effectively and provides the necessary support for plants. Plants which are to take root, whether it be after sowing or planting, encounter ideal conditions in the finely crumbled soil, which offers little physical resistance. Thanks to the loose surface soil, an adequate supply of water presents no problem. Seeds and plants get off to a good start.

3. Sowing & Planting

With temperature rising the soil will warm up and it is now time to plant and sow. When sowing, allow the ground to dry out as much as possible. For planting seedlings the Wilkinson Sword Stainless Steel Hand Trowel is an essential aid.

4. Loosening

Loosening the ground regularly between the plants is an effective way of encouraging growth. This improves the soil structure and ensures adequate aeration of the soil; it also allows water and the necessary nutrients to reach the tips of the plants’ roots more easily. Using the right tools is child’s play. With repeated loosening during the gardening season, you will improve the soil condition and consequently plant growth, thus inhibiting undesirable weed growth.

5. Composting

Nutrients from the soils reserves are washed away and absorbed by the plants over a period of time. It is vital that these nutrients are replenished. To see the state of your soil consider purchasing a soil analysis kit. This will help you determine the best way to replenish the nutrients and help you apply the best compost to re-nourish the earth. When applying compost use the Wilkinson Sword Compost Scoop which is the ideal tool for scooping and distributing.

6. Weeding

Regular weeding helps keep the weeds in check, before they plague your plants, competing with them for light, air and water. With the Wilkinson Sword hoes and weeding tools, undesirable plants stand no chance. They penetrate the soil deeply, loosen it and sever weeds and roots, rendering them incapable of robbing plants of space and nutrition. To assist you, use the Wilkinson Sword Dutch Hoe for working with ease in narrow rows of plants.

7. Clearing

Under natural conditions, hardly any soil is bare. It is constantly covered with grasses, wild herbs and weeds or with rotting organic material. Similarly, one also encounters broken off twigs, foliage and petals, or leftovers from weeds. However, garden waste can prove to be a nuisance. Weeds which have been hoed up often carry seeds for undesirable offspring. Foliage left around for too long is an ideal breeding ground for fungal disease. Using the Wilkinson Sword Carbon Steel Lawn Rake, you can remove these disruptive elements from the garden.

8. Digging Over

In order that the soil is fit for winter and above all for the following spring, you should take the opportunity in autumn to turn the soil over. Nature can work undisturbed over the winter months. It is recommended the soil is dug to a depth of 15-20 cm or deeper if possible. The Wilkinson Sword Stainless Steel Digging Spade allows clean digging of even the hardest of soils. The coming frost will let water freeze the soil, then expand and break down into small particles. As a result of this process, the soil becomes ready for loosening. The process comes full circle.