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Thread: Hydrophobic Soil

  1. #1
    Engineer354 is offline Germinator
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    Default Hydrophobic Soil

    Hey everyone, I hope I am posting in the right section here.

    So, I've neglected the polytunnel for about 3 months now, what with work, University and other hobbies I haven't made the necessary time for my beds.

    When I went to water them I noticed the water was just flowing over the soil and not actually being absorbed. I left the water on for about an hour and when I came back the soil was damp however just on the surface. the soil below was still dry.

    After some googling I think the term is hydophobic soil.
    Has anyone in the group had this problem or know the best solution??

    Thanks in advance
    Michael

  2. #2
    veggiechicken's Avatar
    veggiechicken is online now Warning!! Contains Nuts
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    Is your soil just crusted over - maybe been baked in the polytunnel without any watering?
    You could hoe over it to break up the surface. Fork it over so that the water can penetrate the soil. Give it a really good soak to rehydrate it and, ideally mulch it over to stop it crusting over again.
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  3. #3
    Chestnut is offline Cropper
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    I think we had a milder version of that on our plot during the dry spell earlier in the year.
    I got round it by watering it a bit at a time- wetting the surface, then another sprinkling every half hour or so. I roughed up the surface wherever i could, as that seemed to let me get more water in with each ‘dose’.
    I only wish I could send you some of the fine drizzle we have here at the moment- a day or two of that would soon have you sorted!
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  4. #4
    Jimny14 is offline Rooter
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    Yep sounds like it's got baked dry and just needs rehydrating. It'll likely take ages and as said above increase surface area as much as possible, then water little and often until top inch or so is nicely wet then each watering after that you should be able to put on a bit more water each dose. As youve probably found if you put too much water on itll just run off all over the place. You'll get it back it's just going to take patience.

  5. #5
    Snadger's Avatar
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    Just roll back the cover if you aren't using polytunnel yet and it will allow the winter rains to permeate the soil slowly.
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  6. #6
    Engineer354 is offline Germinator
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    Hey Guys,
    Thanks for your replies,

    The soil has gone to a "dust" like texture on the top. I have forked over the bed and adding farmyard manure and compost mix into it.
    Just trying to water it before mixing it and the water is just running straight through it.

    Might actually install a sprinkler system in the tunnel to help prevent this again, Would be worried about the mold issue though.

    Il try watering little and offen see if that helps

    Thanks again for your input it is very much appreciated
    Ms-T and Chestnut like this.

  7. #7
    Engineer354 is offline Germinator
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    Hey everyone,
    Just an update, I dug the soil over and watered well. Then added a light layer of manure then compost. the play was to layer it up and dig over again.

    Tried the hose vs a watering can to see which would work better. The bed with the watering can has came on leaps and bounds. All back to what its meant to be.

    Just thought Id let everyone know

  8. #8
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    glad you got it sorted out some great advice from people in here as normal ,if you cant get to the tunnel and watering will be a prob for you have you thought of getting a dripper system set up ? that would help out if you have some water butts handy ,also (it doesnt matter now but) i still cant work out what you ment by hydroponic soil ,hydroponics are a soil free grow system and the closest thing they have to soil are clay pellets or coco to hold the roots in ,just wondering ,cheers and good luck with the year ahead

    edit dang it ,hydrophibic not hydroponic lol ,i hadnt woken up yet sorry
    Last edited by the big lebowski; 02-01-2018 at 03:15 AM.
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