Do-it-yourself black soil at their summer cottage

Do-it-yourself black soil at their summer cottage

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How to form a fertile soil layer in an inconvenient area

One of Jules Verne's novels describes how the heroes ended up on an uninhabited island, practically devoid of any vegetation. And they were able to survive on it and even grow vegetable gardens, supplying them with herbs and a variety of vegetables.

And this is provided that the soil on the island initially, in fact, was not. How did they do it? Algae and ash helped, from which the most fertile soil was created.

True, it is also worth noting that, in addition to everything else, the Julesvern Robinsons also had a whole set of the best seeds, as well as the necessary tools (as, in fact, usually happens in such novels).

All this I lead to the fact that many novice gardeners and gardeners find themselves in approximately similar conditions, because seeds and tools are not a problem to buy, but with soil it is more difficult. In most cases, unless, of course, you have a house in a village where manure has been applied for centuries, then what is understood as soil in our gardens is difficult to call soil in reality.

In the best case, it is soddy-podzolic and, in addition, acidic soil, on which even woodlice will not grow (of course, there is no question of cucumbers). The thing is that it was customary to allocate the so-called inconvenience... They were most often swamps or rocky areas, practically devoid of soil and, at best, covered with 3-4 cm podzol - almost the most sterile soil in existence.

If we are talking about a swamp, then I can’t say anything good here, since, in my opinion, there is no prospect in the swamp at all, because even after ennobling the soil, it is impossible to get rid of the negative influence of high water levels and lower temperatures with all the ensuing consequences. But if you got a plot with turf slightly covering ordinary rocks (with other advantages in the form of an ecologically clean area and good illumination), then if you wish, it is quite possible to turn it into a small fabulous garden garden with the most fertile soil. At least that's how it happened on my site, although, of course, it took years and years of hard labor.

Two ways to create soil

As you know, chernozem soils are considered the best, which have natural high fertility, because everything grows on the black earth by leaps and bounds. Unfortunately, we cannot find such soils in the Urals - they simply do not exist in nature. Peaty or soddy-podzolic soils prevail here, which are completely unsuitable for growing vegetables without cultivation.

Therefore, the first and main task in this case is the task of forming an arable layer sufficient for the development of plants on our weave. In other words, create a fertile land from almost nothing. Some resort to the simplest method - they bring ready-made soil, which is not so difficult now, since agricultural enterprises sell their soil from industrial greenhouses to those who wish. But, on the one hand, will you bring a lot, and on the other, how much will it result in?

However, the financial costs do not compare with what costs you will then have to go to in order to get rid of the consequences of such rash actions. Believe me, the brought soil, in spite of the fact that it seems to be so black and crumbly, is of no particular value to you. Moreover, it can even be harmful, since with such land whole hordes of pests and pathogens can come to the site, which will make you suddenly find out all the negative delights of gardening life.

It is much wiser to go the other way - try to create the soil yourself, introducing increased doses of organic and mineral fertilizers in parallel with liming the soil. True, if there is practically no soil, then even on one manure, flavored with mineral fertilizers and lime, plants, of course, cannot be planted. And to have such an amount of manure (or chicken droppings) is completely unrealistic. In addition, manure itself does not rot so quickly, and to accelerate this process, as well as to obtain a loose soil in its structure, it requires the addition of other types of organic matter.

A quick way to form a fertile layer

It was in the same conditions that I found myself many years ago. I did not import soil, guessing about the possible consequences of such a decision. There was only one way out: get a humus layer due to the huge mass of plant residues mixed with a limited amount of manure and lime. Absolutely anything can be used as plant residues - crushed bark, sawdust, thin branches of shrubs, used brooms, straw, cut grass, leaf litter, reeds and kitchen waste.

At the same time, if we recall the classic treatises on vegetable growing, it is recommended to compost all such waste beforehand. As you know, high-quality compost is obtained in three years. To implement this process, it is usually customary to have three compost heaps with different dates for laying waste. These heaps should be shoveled and moistened periodically, and finally, after the third year, you can start using the compost from the first heap.

True, now this process can be accelerated, since composting accelerators have appeared on the market. As a result, as their instructions promise, compost can be obtained in as little as one year. However, I did not want and could not wait three years (at that time there were no composting accelerators), because, like all novice gardeners, I wanted to have a harvest right away. Therefore, I completely abandoned the traditional composting of plant residues and still do not regret it.

And I was able to eventually get the required fertile soil. Moreover, from the very beginning I had a small but sure harvest of vegetable and green crops. And high ridges helped in this in two versions: ordinary elongated (that is, resembling ordinary ridges) and small round ones (my personal invention).

High (hilly) ridges

The high bed method is one of the options for rapid soil formation, which is suitable for growing cabbage, green crops (dill, lettuce, parsley, onions on a feather) and onions from sets.

All of these plants can be grown even with a minimal amount of available soil on high ridges formed directly on the sod. And as a result, by the fall, you will be able not only to get some harvest, which gives you every right to call yourself a gardener, but also the soil that is so lacking on the site.

Theoretically, high ridges are of two types: with and without sides - the so-called "hilly" beds. At the first stages of the development of the site, only the second option is possible, since even if there are boards, permanent ridges cannot be formed, because the site has not yet been leveled, and there is simply no time to equip the sides. Therefore, directly on the sod in layers, fold any existing wood waste: chopped branches, chips, bark.

Next, lay in layers of leaves, lime, grass cuttings, manure and sawdust. It is advisable to add a layer of peat. From above, everything again needs to be sprinkled with a layer of leaves and lime, add a handful of complete mineral fertilizer. Then comes the last layer - a layer of soil, if you have enough of it. If not, then pits or rows are made (depending on the culture). Naturally, the above option is not a dogma, and the composition of the hillock bed may vary depending on the currently available organic matter.

It is possible to use in its composition pond or river silt, algae, straw, chopped reeds, bark and other organic matter. It is possible to form high ridges only on the basis of some leaves, flavored with mineral fertilizers and lime. However, it should be borne in mind that fallen leaves contain very few nutrients. Therefore, in this option, weekly feeding of the planted crops with organic fertilizers of intensive action ("Giant", "Breadwinner", "Ideal", etc.) becomes even more relevant.

In any case, after the final preparation of the ridges, a small amount of soil will be required either to fill the holes when planting cabbage seedlings or to fill the rows when planting green crops and onions. Then the ridges are intensively moistened and green ones are sown on them (dill, lettuce, parsley) or cabbage seedlings, onions on feathers and onions from sets are planted. With further care, it should be borne in mind that high ridges dry out quickly, so watering should be treated with great attention.

Round mini-beds

This version of mini-bedswhich can also be formed directly on the turf layer, ideal for growing pumpkins and squash. Each bed is formed from a bucket of sod, a bucket of manure, a few handfuls of sawdust - the bottom layer will go untouched sod, then the manure. In the manure, make a depression in the form of a large hole and sprinkle everything thickly with sawdust. Then pour half a bucket of forest land or soil from the site into the hole and sprinkle with a handful of complex fertilizer.

Such beds are placed at some distance from each other so that the plants are free enough. Then they are all poured with water and covered with a film (each pile with its own piece of film). The film must be carefully pressed down with stones so that the wind does not blow away. In the middle of the bed-heap in the film, you need to cut a round hole into which after planting one zucchini or pumpkin plant. I can guarantee that if you do everything right, there will be a good harvest already in the first year. True, zucchini and pumpkins will have to be fed several times per season with complex fertilizers and ash, and also watered as needed.

By autumn, the turf under the heaps in most cases rotted, which means that it will be much easier to dig it up. In addition, you already have a certain layer of soil due to rotted heaps and rotted turf.

What to do in the first fall

If your plot is fairly flat, then you're in luck. In this case, having destroyed the improvised ridges and leveled the surface with a rake, it will be possible to proceed with the usual digging. And here there are no special nuances: you dig, remove protruding stones and roots of perennial weeds that clearly do not want to rot. And then, given that your soil layer is still quite small, you again form all the same high ridges - it is quite possible that most of them can already be placed in a permanent place.

If your site is on a hill, then things will be much more complicated: you will have to think about terraces and create retaining walls for the intended terraces. For the first time, you can erect temporary support walls with dry masonry from ordinary stones pulled out during the digging process. After that, on each of the terraces, it is necessary to level the soil, destroying the beds, and then carry out the usual digging. And then re-form high ridges for planting next season, but on terraces.

In addition, in the fall, it is advisable to prepare planting areas for currants, gooseberries and raspberries. To do this, in the dug-up fertile layer, you need to dig holes - they should be small (down to rocky soil or clay), and on top of them to fill hills according to the principle of hillock ridges. At least half a bucket of normal soil will need to be added to the top of the hills. Next spring, you can plant the purchased plants in the center of each of the hills - you should not plant them in the fall, since the bushes on the hills can freeze in winter.

Over the next summer, you will have to think about filling the empty space between the mounds with berries with the emerging organic matter so that by autumn the bushes are no longer on the mounds, but on a flat surface. Then, next winter, the plants will no longer freeze, and when the roots of the shrubs go beyond the initially formed hills, fertile soil will already be waiting for them there, which has managed to form from the established organic matter.

Svetlana Shlyakhtina,
Yekaterinburg city

2. Use ornamental grasses in the design of awkward areas.

The place under the fence on the site was neither attractive, nor good soil, nor lighting. In the updated design of the summer cottage, it was planned to set up a high flower garden there, in which you can add fertile soil, and plant grass with bright juicy green foliage.

Old wooden pallets and a sheet of slate were placed between the fence and the flower garden. The perimeter of the flower garden was laid out with natural stone, dividing the flower bed into several sections.

Such a design technique made it possible, with the help of a small flower bed with unpretentious perennials, to make a cheerful accent in an inconvenient place on the site.

The use of black soil at their summer cottage

The desire of summer residents to increase the fertility of the soil on their site to obtain high yields of high quality fruits explains their willingness to use all available means. To achieve a high effect and keep it for several years, you need to know how to use black soil in the garden without harming the already established ecosystem.

The main misconception of gardeners is that by completely replacing the soil with chernozem, it is possible to solve the problem of plant nutrition for ever without the subsequent introduction of fertilizers and the use of humus or compost. The nutrients in black soil are actively used by plants for the formation of crops and seeds, therefore, without their replenishment, the humus content drops sharply and the soil is depleted.

Excessive introduction of chernozem for vegetable and flower crops will be a gross mistake, since their thin root system is not able to maintain the required porosity, which will eventually lead to soil compaction. It is recommended to add black soil mixed with garden soil and peat. A good result is obtained by its introduction into greenhouses, hotbeds and flower beds for perennial ornamental plants. For these purposes, it is very convenient to use black soil in bags.

Areas where chernozem was introduced should be dug up only with a pitchfork to prevent soil compaction. Earthworms are a good biological indicator of soil condition.

Before applying, it is advisable to check the acidity level of chernozem using indicator strips. With a weakly acidic reaction, you will need to add lime, dolomite flour or wood ash, and with a weakly alkaline reaction, acidic mineral fertilizers.

Landscaping in a small summer cottage

Looking through magazines and brochures on landscape design, we are amazed by the beauty and individuality of the design of summer cottages. Gazebos, benches, flower beds, sculptures, hedges, ponds - there are many landscape design objects that help equip your dream summer cottage.

When forming the landscape design of a summer cottage with your own hands, a problem arises with the location of objects on it. Also, a beginner can be framed by the small size of the site. In order for a small summer cottage to become not only beautiful, but also convenient for life, it should be properly zoned. It is necessary to decide for what purposes it is settling down, and what functions it should perform. The main areas for arranging a summer cottage are: a residential area, a utility area, a recreation area, a garden and vegetable garden area, a children's or sports ground.

When the zones of the site are determined, you can start decorating and arranging it. In order for a small area to look harmonious, clear lines and boundaries should be avoided.Winding paths and paths with smooth turns, oval flower beds should repeat natural shapes and be a continuation and complement to each other.

When arranging a small summer cottage, you should pay attention to the fence, it should not be high and solid. To prevent the site from looking closed and cramped, you should consider options for a low rare fence or equip a natural hedge that will protect the site from dust, wind and prying eyes.

Since there is not much space on the site, and I wanted to place more elements, it is worth paying attention to undersized plants and bushes, they will not take up much space and will green the site. When choosing plants, you should give preference to plants with different shades of foliage - this will add air to the overall composition. In a small area, fast-growing plants should be avoided, which in a fairly short period of time will fill most of the garden. So that a small area does not turn into chaos with a collection of many different objects, you can take one decorative element of landscape design as a basis. It can be large, contrasting in color or shape, it can have an interesting texture that is different from the surrounding elements. The art object of the site can be a large stone of an interesting shape, a beautiful exotic plant, a carved gazebo, an artificial pond with goldfish, a fountain, a bright alpine slide. This object will become the starting point in decorating the suburban area and will help organize the space.

Ideas for arranging the landscape design of a summer cottage with your own hands can be gleaned from the Japanese style of space design. The Japanese style is characterized by small areas, which are home to bonsai dwarf trees, gardens of moss, stones, sculptures, small ponds framed by stones. The presence of the main object in the composition is a feature of this style. These gardens are small, but very informative.

Photo: Velichka Miteva /

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How will it look like?

Looking through magazines and brochures on landscape design, we are amazed by the beauty and individuality of the design of summer cottages. Gazebos, benches, flower beds, sculptures, hedges, ponds - there are many landscape design objects that help equip your dream summer cottage.
When forming the landscape design of a summer cottage with your own hands, a problem arises with the location of objects on it. Also, a beginner can be framed by the small size of the site.
Read the article

The best options for planning a garden and a vegetable garden

Most of our readers have a summer house or plot that we definitely want to keep in order and beauty. Therefore, many begin to set up gardens or vegetable gardens within the boundaries of the suburban area, as far as weave allow. But in order to do everything beautifully and efficiently, you need to know the rules and features. Some have a developed imagination and are very fond of creative ideas, which means that it will not be difficult for them. And what should everyone else do? We want to help you with this. In this article you will find tips on how to do the planning on your own, what are the rules, how to find suitable plants and how to plant them correctly, how many beds are needed and how to place them taking into account your acres. And also, what decorative elements can be used and is it worth doing at all? We will post a few photos in the article that you can use to create your ideas.

Where to start planning on the site?

To begin with, you need to understand what planning is and where to start it. Layout is the optimal breakdown for the site, which will ensure the most rational use of the usable area for the productive beds. But where to start? Many owners want to plant fruit trees and set up a vegetable garden on their personal plot, but the question arises, can all this be combined? You can always combine everything, you just need to know how to do it correctly. Therefore, we would suggest that you start by creating your own unique garden layout idea that you find ideal.

In order to create something of your own, look at several options for ideas on the Internet, photos on websites or in landscape design magazines. You can also find some video tutorials on the basics of design. Please note that you can create everything with your own hands, but if you think that it is difficult and painstaking, then you can use the ideas of designers or their direct services.

Step-by-step instructions for planning

We want to help you properly organize the planning work at the summer cottage so that there are no unaccounted for points. If you decide to make a complex of vegetable and fruit plantings, then you should start with the planning.

  • Sketch your initial idea to reflect the general features you want to see on the site. You can make a color scheme in two versions to see at a glance what your site will look like in the spring and autumn periods.
  • Calculate the size of the plot in advance, find out how many hundred parts it contains (most often plots of 4 and 6 are found). You should know not only the general sizes, but also some features, among which the sizes that the plants can grow, the planting should not be carried out very tightly.
  • Think about where you can locate your vegetable garden. We want to say that many gardeners advise placing everything on the south side. If this is not possible for you, then try to make your place sunny, but with periods of shade.

Plan where is the best place to make the beds

  • Write a list of plants that you would like to see on your site. These can be both vegetable beds, fruit trees, and ornamental plants and flowers. Later we will talk about the most common schemes that exist at the moment.
  • Consult with experts or read for yourself whether your chosen plants are compatible with each other. To do this, you need to study the soil and fertilization requirements for each type of plant. As well as the frequency of their watering, the need for solar energy, and more.
  • Find out what is the acidity of the soil, whether there is groundwater, what is the relief, the orientation of the area relative to the sun.
  • Estimate how many beds you can create. Think in advance which processes you will carry out with your own hands, and which ones you will need help.
  • Plant your plants in a specific order. Seedlings cannot be in the shade, and bushes and low plants should be closer to the sun.
  • It is necessary to find out the timing of fruiting of all trees and shrubs. And place all plants according to their maturity dates.
  • Take a photo of your work.

What should be indicated on the diagram, which plants to use?

What should be indicated on the diagram

The planting scheme should be developed as correctly as possible and it can be easily done with your own hands, without the help of experts. In order for you to take everything into account and not forget anything, we decided to develop special recommendations for you.

  1. To start planting, you should always have a photo of the site. Since you cannot always be in close proximity to it, and your scheme will often require it.
  2. Mark the location of the house on the diagram, if the site is not yet built up, then the estimated size and location.
  3. Indicate not only the size of the personal plot, but also its distance from the boundaries of the plot. If you decide to combine several types of plantings into one composition, then it is worth indicating what size each of them will be and at what distance they will be located.
  4. Pay your attention to paint everything with flowers. This is important solely for the decorative look. Thanks to this, you will be able to see from a new point of view.

What plants can you use for your vegetable garden?

For the garden, you can use any plants that you need:

  • cabbage,
  • carrot,
  • potato,
  • cucumbers,
  • tomatoes,
  • greens,
  • beet,
  • eggplant,
  • pumpkin.

What are the site planning models?

In order to outline only the main points of planting, we decided to show you three main options for planning a vegetable garden and including a garden. It is worth noting that the choice should be influenced not only by the "liked" factor, but also by the relief of the site, the number of acres, the estimated number of beds.

  1. Decorative model. This model is designed exclusively for lovers of unpretentious site management and assumes the presence of ornamental plants and plantings. Most often, this model is embodied in the shape of a circle. Inside there are plantings of flowers and only ornamental plants (preferably tall to show all the beauty). Outside, a kind of "frame" is created from fruit plantations (currants, raspberries, strawberries). Very often they buy low shrubs that will not hide ornamental flowers too much. If the site allows, then fruit trees are planted in a semicircle in the back (their number depends on the size of the model). For example, you can see a photo of the landing on the Internet.
  2. Rectangular model. Its peculiarity lies in the fact that here you do both a garden and a vegetable garden at the same time. Most often, a square shape is used for giving. The peculiarity is that you plant several beds of vegetables (as far as weave of the plot allow). Nearby there are several beds of berry bushes (currants, raspberries), chosen according to your taste. For a better view, fruit trees are also planted, but a little in the distance. The peculiarity is that with all the abundance of species, a square or rectangular shape is preserved.
  3. Arbitrary model. Here, the shape and size depend solely on the acres and on your capabilities. The scheme is the same: combine several vegetable and berry beds with fruit and ornamental trees. As you can see in the photo, only your imagination plays a role here.

Layout is a very important thing, so we would like to give some tips for those who will do everything with their own hands. To begin with, it is worth noting that it is necessary to take into account all the natural and geographical factors of the site: size, lighting, temperature drops. If you still have a small area for a garden, then use the method of vertical beds more, cucumbers, beans, peas, tall tomatoes, etc. feel great on nets and supports. Always pay attention to the compatibility of garden plants, their need for lighting. Also, that old trees should not be used for the site, seedlings are quite suitable for you. If you do not understand any process, we recommend that you look at the photo on the Internet, where you can also find instructions on the optimal number of beds and the correct calculation of acres. Planning on your own is very painstaking, but once you dive into the process, you will love it!

In order to learn about additional rules for site planning, we suggest you watch the following video:

Now it is very fashionable to have an alpine slide at a summer cottage. The fact is that this design pleases the eye of a person who likes to relax after work in the country, for example.

As a rule, alpine slides are created with the help of professionals. Obviously, this is a good way to get a quality alpine slide. But you need to keep in mind that the work of professionals will be expensive. Therefore, more and more often, many summer residents create rock gardens on their own. In fact, there are no difficulties in the work. In two days, you can create an excellent alpine slide with your own hands. It is only necessary to learn some of the subtleties of the work.

An alpine slide is created in several stages. So, first, a suitable place on the site is selected for her. Then we create a drainage system. As soon as these works are completed, we lay out the stones and fill in the earth. At the final stage, planting is carried out. And now we will tell you in detail about each stage of the work.

For the alpine slide, a place is chosen that is noticeable at the entrance to the site. It is important that there is a lot of light. Stones and plants should be placed so that everything looks extremely natural. The shaded area is not good. An alpine slide is created so that everyone can see it. In addition, you need to choose a flat place as much as possible.

Do-it-yourself pond in the country: where to start?

The reservoir can be of any size and shape - it all depends on the wishes and preferences of the owners. The main thing is that the pond fits perfectly and harmoniously into the surrounding landscape.

To do this, it is necessary to take into account the general style of the site, proceed from the future location and the materials used. Before choosing a place for a reservoir, it is important to analyze several points:

  1. The territory of the site. The size of the plot directly affects the size and shape of the pond itself.
  2. Relief and ground. The possibility of creating an ideal surface of water or waterfalls depends on the type of relief.
  3. Ground water level. This indicator affects the depth of the future pond, the labor intensity of construction work and the materials used.
  4. The amount of light. Experts recommend creating reservoirs for summer cottages in the darkest places, where the amount of ultraviolet radiation will be minimal. If you ignore this detail, then the water in the pond will evaporate rather quickly and actively bloom.
It is recommended to create a reservoir in the shade.

Of course, it is best to position the reservoir so that it can be seen from the house or gazebo. This will allow you not only to enjoy the beautiful view, but also to watch children who love to play near the water. Plants or trees growing close to them will certainly greatly enhance the appearance of the pond, but they also tend to shed leaves, fruits, twigs, etc., which will lead to rotting and decay. In addition, the roots of a developing tree can noticeably spoil the walls of your pond, so carefully examine your area before starting work in order to choose the most suitable place.

How much does black soil cost?

In organizations specializing in the sale of fertile soil, you can buy black soil with delivery to any settlement in the Moscow region.

At the same time, the average price of 1 m3 of chernozem with delivery is 1300 rubles. when ordering a car for 20 m3. When ordering a dump truck for 10 m3, the price increases to about 1650 rubles. To calculate how much a car of chernozem costs, let's take a volume of 10 m3 as the initial data. The result is a quite acceptable amount of 16,500 rubles. The larger the volume, the lower the price for 1 m3.

However, for summer cottages, there may not be a need for such volumes. In such cases, you can purchase prepackaged black soil in bags of 40 or 50 liters. The cost of one bag ranges from 180 to 300 rubles. Bulk discounts apply for more than 50 bags from most suppliers.

When planning delivery and unloading operations, the weight of chernozem must be taken into account. Depending on the structure and composition, 1 m3 of chernozem weighs from 1 to 1.3 tons.

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  1. Shoukran

    This is what was necessary for me. I thank you for the help in this question.

  2. Korian

    The authoritative point of view, cognitively..

  3. Zulkigrel

    Surprising but true. Your resource is expensive. At least at its own auction it could be sold for good money.

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