In this week's Nurture for Nature blog, Dobbies Garden Centres share their top tips for healthy soil.
Healthy soil plays a vital role in allowing your garden to flourish. Not only does soil allow plants to thrive, but it also provides a great habitat for biodiversity, attracting a whole host of wildlife to your green space.
Gardeners can also play their part in creating a more sustainable world through their soil, and natural ways of nourishment are always best. By implementing just a few simple steps you can keep your soil happy and healthy – and your plot, and the planet, will thank you for it.
Follow our five expert tips to supercharge your soil at home.
1. Make your own compost
Home composting is a free and satisfying way to improve your soil. If it is sandy, compost will add bulk, and if your soil is heavy with clay, compost will help break it up. Most gardens also can accommodate a compost heap or bin. Make it up with equal parts ‘greens’, such as weeds, grass clippings and vegetable peelings, and ‘browns’, such as paper, card or twigs.
2. Preserve peat
Peat was a traditional ingredient in bags of compost, but now we are all much more aware of the damage that this does to peat habitats. When left in place, peat stores carbon and protects against climate change. At Dobbies we’re doing our bit to preserve peat with a range of new highly effective peat-free composts – aiming to be 90% peat-free this year, and 100% from 2022.
3. Attract worms
For soil health, worms are your friends! They eat rotting organic material and provide natural fertiliser. As they burrow, oxygen routes are created, allowing water to reach your plant roots. Mulching with manure or compost or Coco Chip will make your garden attractive to worms.
4. Grow manure
‘Green manure’ are plants that you simply chop down after they’ve grown, leave to wilt and then dig in to the soil where they release vital nutrients. Good manure plants include buckwheat, fenugreek, mustard plants and crimson clover.
5. Use organic plant feeds
Fertilisers support plants at critical times, such as during the spring when they are bursting into growth or summer when they hopefully blooming or growing at their best. They’re really essential in containers where liquid feed is best suited as well as beds and borders when pelleted feeds are easiest to apply. Read the instructions carefully to ensure that you feed the correct amounts at the right intervals.
Here are some products that can be found at your local Dobbies which can support your soil:
- Miracle-Gro performance organics all-purpose plant food, £6.49
- Coco Chip coir mulch 4.5kg, £14.99 (in store)
- Organic chicken manure pellets 2.25kg, £5.99
- Miracle-Gro peat-free range 40L, £6.99 or 2 for £12 (mix and match) (in store)
We are proud to support #TerraCarta from HRH The Prince of Wales’ Sustainable Markets Initiative. The Terra Carta provides a road map to 2030 for businesses to move towards an ambitious and sustainable future.
There are further ranges available in the 70 Dobbies stores across the UK.
For a store locator, visit dobbies.com
Dobbies – not your average garden centre.
Nurture for Nature
Butterfly Conservation and Dobbies are working to inspire more people to help protect butterflies and moths by creating pollinator-friendly plots in their gardens as part of their Nurture for Nature campaign.
Click here to get your guide and discover how you can Nurture for Nature this Spring.