CARE OF THE SOIL AND USE OF FERTILIZERS
THE first thing to do in the new garden is to decide what condition theis in, and what treatment it needs. The new garden which has been left by the builder is probably just a waste heap. It may be that he has left dumps of sticky clay, sub-soil, gravel, or other material excavated during the laying of the foundations. It is quite useless to spread this over the surface of the top spit to make up the borders. Unfortunately that is precisely what builders are in the habit of doing. On many housing estates an attempt is made to plan and make the garden ready for the incoming tenant. Frequently, on investigation, it is found that the laying out of the garden has meant the spreading of excavated sub-soil over the existing soil, which effectively ruins the gardening possibilities of the site.
As soon as the plan has been drawn up, therefore, the condition of the soil should be ascertained. Dig a hole, and notice the different colours of the soil as you dig out each spade depth. The most fertile soil is usually the darkest soil, coloured by decaying vegetable or animal matter.
If you find that sub-soil has been spread over the top as already suggested, you will have to reverse the positions of the top and under spits of soil as 3’ou dig. If the dark fertile soil is on the surface, digging will consist in turning over this top spit, and breaking up the lower spit of soil.
The relative merits of the dark soil and the clay, chalk, or gravel that lies below it, must of course be kept in mind if excavations are being made for sunk gardens or . In such cases the best plan is to move the fertile spit of soil to one side while the necessary levelling and excavating are being done and to replace it later.