Manuring is the start
of the gardening year. In autumn or early winter
spread bulky organic matter over the surface at
the rate of 10lb per sq yard (5kg per sq m) (approximately
1 barrow load per 10 sq yd/m). The area chosen
should be for crops other than roots or brassicas,
but all land can be enriched with well-rotted
manure or old compost if it is starved of humus.
Animal manure is scarce these days and garden
peat is both expensive and biologically inactive.
The answer is to make as much compost as you can,
using both garden and kitchen waste. Use a heat-producing
activator, such as Bio Recycler, and remember
to keep the heat in and the rain out. Forget the
old wives’ tales about helpful lime and
harmful soil – keep lime out and put some
soil into the compost heap.
Where time allows, fork the organic layer into
the surface before digging starts. It is vital
that this manuring routine is carried out so that
part of the plot is enriched each year until the
whole area has been treated. Its role is to improve
the crumb structure and increase the water- and