What to dig in, to improve vegetable plot soil ?

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MikeHardman

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What to dig in, to improve vegetable plot soil ?
« on: September 21, 2011, 07:19:09 AM »
What's the best material to dig into a vegetable plot to improve its structure and give it some extra nutrients, but without increasing risk of fungal/pest problems?

It is  just the native marly soil at the moment, which has cropped OK this, its first, year. But we want to keep it in good (or better) health. It can cake quite hard.

- Sheep farm straw/muck? (how well rotted?)
- Horse (stable) straw/muck? (how well rotted?)
- Plain straw? (weed seeds issue with straw?)
- Gravel/sand of some sort? (I suspect not)
- Something chemical? (the local co-op has bags of lots of different stuff, mostly described in Greek...)
- Green manure? (eg. clover; to dig in foliage and benefit from nitrogen fixed by roots)

Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England

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John J

  • Hero Member
Re: What to dig in, to improve vegetable plot soil ?
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2011, 10:36:48 AM »
Mike,
We have a MGS member in Cyprus, Dimitri Shukuroglou, who owns a company called Premier Shukuroglou. They have been producing a product, Bioprem, for some time. It is described as an Organo Biological Fertilizer and the recommended incorporation for vegetables, for example, is 340-400 g/m2 into the planting row. (Warning, Bioprem must be used immediately after bag opening as direct exposure to sunlight will eliminate beneficial bacteria).
Recently they have opened a green waste recycling plant to the south of Nicosia to produce compost. Also they have begun to market new products using this compost with added Bioprem to create specialised nutritional fertilisers.
I have used Bioprem and, a few months ago, obtained a couple of bags of the first batch of the compost off the production line, but the new products are so new I haven't gotten around to getting any yet so I can't comment on their performance.
If you care to take a look at www.premchem.com (it's in English) and click on MyGreenCycle on the Home page you'll find a description of all the products.
I'm sure Dimitri has a store in Paphos area but I don't know where exactly.
This may be an expensive undertaking for improving a large area but could be useful for selected veg.
Cyprus Branch Head. Gardens in a field 40 m above sea level with reasonably fertile clay soil.
"Aphrodite emerged from the sea and came ashore and at her feet all manner of plants sprang forth" John Deacon (13thC AD)

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MikeHardman

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Re: What to dig in, to improve vegetable plot soil ?
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2011, 02:37:15 PM »
John,
That's brilliant; thank you very much.
The outlets for BioPrem are listed here -
http://www.mygreencycle.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=12&Itemid=16&lang=en
Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England

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andrewsloan

  • Jr. Member
Re: What to dig in, to improve vegetable plot soil ?
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2011, 12:37:30 PM »
I have started growing some Russian Comfrey from seed and am using it for a liquid feed for fruit trees and vegetables, plus the leaves can be used to provide  a leaf mulch. It was difficult to establish but when it gets going the leaves grow at a rapid rate, especially after harvesting leaves for the liquid feed. Nettles are another good source for making a liquid feed.