Last week for the Greenfingers charity we wheeled a barrow around the Dorset and Somerset countryside between the Gardens Group centres for the Big Push (total amount raised will be announced soon!). I took part with a section of each leg and as we crossed fields on footpaths I was struck by how badly damaged the soil is on farmland. The same will be true in our gardens too. The rainfall of 2012 has caused this. The surface of the soil will have been damaged by the physical battering of torrential rain, a certain amount of topsoil will have been washed away and also the soil will have been drowning as it has been waterlogged in many cases for so long.

This all will have caused problems and we will start to see the evidence in the next few weeks as the gardens come back to life. To help your soil, dig in lots of humus such as garden compost, rotted farm manure, composted bark and the like. If digging is causing a mess or if you just want a method that needs less energy, then just lay a 2 – 3 inch depth of such material on the surface so that worms and woodlice and friends will start to drag it into the soil.

It won’t be a quick solution but in time the soil structure will return to a healthy state, as long as we get a normal spring and summer that is!