In Praise of Muck

Apply organic matter now for healthy blooms this summer

Apply organic matter now for healthy blooms this summer

“Money, pardon the expression, is like manure. It’s not worth a thing unless it’s spread around, encouraging young things to grow”. – Jerry Herman, “Hello Dolly”

Dolly Levi – being played by Bette Midler on Broadway just now – was right about the money – and right about the manure. One of the very best things you can do for your garden is to add organic matter to the soil.

Many kinds are available and homemade compost is super, but not everyone has the time or know how to produce their own. Farmyard manure is a brilliant alternative, and don’t worry if you don’t live next door to a stable – it’s available in bags in your local garden centre. In fact by buying in bags you can be sure that it’s suitable for garden use – when too fresh, plants’ roots can be burned, and weed seeds still active, but when you buy it packaged it’s ready for use in whatever quantities you need.

Adding organic matter will help your soil whatever its type. Sandy, free draining soils can be low in nutrients – they simply get washed out by rain over time- so improving the soil and feeding the soil itself, rather than just the plants, sets the garden up for long-term health. If, on the other hand, your soil is nutrient rich but with a high clay content, the addition of good compost or manure helps open up the soil structure and improve drainage. It’s a win-win either way and an example of how one solution can address two completely different problems.

At this time of year, apply in a generous layer around the base of shrubs and the crowns of herbaceous plants, taking care to keep the stems clear. Over time it will be absorbed into the soil and until that happens, it will act as a mulch, keeping heat and moisture in and weeds down. It’s almost impossible to overdo it, so add as much as you possibly can. Hmm….there’s another way money is like manure – you can never have too much!

Anne Byrne Garden Design provides easy to follow Garden Plans that you can implement right away

or in stages. Anne’s design flair and passion for plants brings a touch of magic to gardens of all sizes.

Anne Byrne Garden Design – Creative Ideas – Practical Solutions – Stunning Gardens.

T: 086 683 8098 E: [email protected] www.annebyrnegardendesign.com

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