Tuesday 4 December 2012

Dixter's Black Gold

Friday 30th
Weather: There was a proper ground frost and the moon was still even out this morning.

The surface of the zinc water tank frozen over

The nursery keeps a close eye on the weather though and had prepared for this the night before, so the frames were well covered with hessian.

We spent the day making loam, I have written about this in past posts:
Humus & loam  and Loam making

But here are more photos and details about the process:

Soil spaded & raked in a rectangular pile as smooth as possible after it has been 'chipped off' the compost mound.

The soil being rotovated, it is kept raked so that the mound stays as even as possible for the rotovator to be able to break it down properly.

After it is put through an A frame sieve, it is spaded into a the hopper of the soil steriliser called Terra Force. It is an old but very effective piece of machinery. The soil comes out the other side and is hot and steamy, and you have to move it out of the way like you are stirring a witches cauldron, but only to the last moment, so that the steam can do its thing and help to burn off any diseases like Phytophphora. 

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