Advice · Gardening

Top Tips for Chalk Soil

Chalk soil, not one of the most sought-after soil types. It’s very gritty, stony, and is incredibly free draining. But you can still have a glorious garden, you just need to adapt your planting style.

All is not lost however, keep reading for Top Tips on how to improve chalk soil, and my top 5 plants for chalk soil.

Chalk soil doesn’t retain a lot of water, meaning you need to keep it watered during the warmer months. It’s usually light in colour, and is easily distinguishable from other soil types. Chalk soil is usually alkaline in nature, which some plants hate.

Chalk Soil
Image credit: http://www.soil-net.com

How to improve Chalk Soil 

– Add well-rotted organic matter to help improve the structure of the soil, and increase the amount of nutrients that your plants can draw on. When wet, chalky soil can become thick and unworkable, so adding organic matter can make it easier to dig over.

– When planting, you need to dig down to a minimum of 75cm. Break up the sides of this hole and add in more organic matter to help both nutrient levels and drainage. Chalk soil can quickly become dry in hot weather, so adding organic matter can help in the long run.

Mulch often. Just because you’ve added some organic matter when planting to start with, doesn’t mean that you can just stop there. Mulch as often as you can, as nutrients washed into the ground from rain can quickly drain away.

Top 5 Plants for Chalk Soil

Chalk Soil Collage
Top Left: Cottoneaster, Bottom Left: Acer Campestre, Middle: Euphorbia Characias, Top Right: Delphinium, Bottom Right: Buddleja

So there you have it, some of the top tip and top plants for chalky soil. These are just some of the few that will grow in chalk soil, so don’t feel restricted on what you can grow.

What do you think? If you have chalk soil in your garden, then I would love for you to share your own experience, including what plants you have that grow well too.

Please do tell me about your own experiences in the comments below, and share on Pinterest, Twitter or Facebook so that everyone can see that loam soil is something to be celebrated.

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