OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK  8AM-9PM  TEL:0808-22-50-400 / 07833-676-356
The Oxfordshire Gardeners Company
The Oxford Garden Company
Garden maintenance in Oxford






T & C





SOIL CARE    understanding soil...

Good quality soil is fundamental to everything that grows in it. Soil compositions are as varied and diverse as the plant world itself. With a little knowledge and the right gardening tools you can reap optimum results from your soil.

Take a simple handful of soil and feel the condition. Heavy clay or light & sandy, whatever the composition it can be successfully cultivated.

What type of soil do you have?

Without good soil, flowers, trees and shrubs will not grow easily. However we cannot determine the quality of soil where we live, and cannot choose its make up or structure - but, with special care, good fertilisation and the best tools, the real goodness of soil can be uncovered.

Light sandy soil

Sandy soil has a fine grain texture and provides little support for roots and lets water seep away easily. However, on the plus side it does warm up quickly in spring and can be worked with little effort. Adding humus and watering sufficiently will improve this type of soil.

Heavy clay soil

When this type of soil dries out, it typically has a hard crust. Water seeps in slowly and roots find it difficult to spread out. Clay can take some time to warm up and is very strenuous to work, so adding a little sand and loosening the composition will improve it's quality.

Medium-heavy loamy soil

You're very lucky if you have this type of soil in your garden. It's a good mixture of clay and sand and can be worked easily. It gives plants adequate support and can absorb water and air with ease.

  Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov
Breaking up the soil                    
Sowing & planting                    
Digging over                    

Breaking up soil

After the winter months the soil remains encrusted and compacted. Breaking up the soil in early spring thoroughly loosens the earth and allows fresh air and water to penetrate more easily. Using the multistage culti-weeder you can prevent the upper layer from drying out.


Prior to sowing or planting it is useful to break down coarse soil. Using the soil miller, we crumble through the rough structure of the upper layer directly after breaking it up. This loosely crumbled soil will then store moisture more effectively and provide necessary support for plants.

Plants which are to take root, whether it be after sowing or planting, encounter ideal conditions in finely crumbled soil, which generally offers minimum physical resistance - seeds and plants will get off to a great start in these conditions.

Sowing and planting

With temperatures rising the soil will warm up and now is the time to plant and sow. When sowing allow the ground to dry out as much as possible. Utilise the advantages of a multistage soil rake, which gives you the right depth for sowing and the appropriate distance between rows. For planting seedlings the multistage hand trowel is an essential aid.


Loosening the ground regularly between the plants is an effective way of encouraging growth. This improves the soil structure and ensures adequate aeration, it also allows water and the necessary nutrients to reach the tip of a plants roots more easily. With repeated loosening during the gardening season, you will improve the soil condition and consequently plant growth, thus inhibiting undesirable weed growth.


Nutrients from the soil reserves are washed away and absorbed by the plants over a period of time, it is vital that these nutrients are replenished. To see the state of your soil consider purchasing a soil analysing kit. This will help you determine the best way to replenish the nutrients and help you apply the best fertiliser to re-nourish the earth.


Regular weeding helps keep the weeds in check before they plague your plants, competing with them for light, air and water.


Under natural conditions, hardly any soil is bare. It is constantly covered with grass, wild herbs and weeds, or rotting organic material. Similarly, one also encounters broken off twigs, foliage and petals, or left overs from weeds. However garden waste can prove to be a nuisance. Weeds which have been hoed up often carry seeds for undesirable offspring. Foliage left around for too long is an ideal breeding ground for fungal disease.

Digging over

In order that the soil is fit for winter and above all for the following spring you should take the opportunity in autumn to turn it over. Nature can then work undisturbed over the winter months. It is recommended that soil is dug to a depth of 15-20cm or deeper if possible.

...of course, if all this seems like too much work, or you simply don't have the time, our gardeners are only a phone call away!

 About Us | Our Gardeners | Landscaping Gallery | FAQ | Testimonials | Special Offers | T & C | Gardening Jobs | Contact OGC 

© OXFORD GARDEN COMPANY . CO . UK   1995 - 2016