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Digging into ground and finding slate

Discussion in 'NEW Gardeners !' started by REMO, May 17, 2018.

  1. REMO

    REMO Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi. I've just started to dig down into our back garden area (no more than 1ft) and finding a quite lot of slate and concrete rocks just under the surface (randomly placed it seems). I was hoping to turn the whole area into a large vegetable patch but this is causing a problem.
    I'm completely new to this so wondering if the slate/rocks might have been deliberately put there by the previous owners, maybe to help with drainage?
    I'm not sure what the area was used for before (a lawn would make sense); it was overgrown with nettles by the time we moved in. I do know that the previous owners were very keen gardeners.
    As a footnote, no structure has been removed from the area as far as I can tell - there is a tree stump in the middle area that I'm finding the debris.
    Some advice would be appreciated :thankyou:
     
  2. Tetters

    Tetters Total Gardener

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    Remo - if you`re going to make a vegetable garden, or even grow anything there you will need to clear the area first. Get all the rocks and slate out and give the whole space a jolly good work over. When you have cleared it (the tough bit) you can add some manure or compost - whatever you`re going to use. Then you can grow stuff.

    It might seem like a huge task at the moment, but when done you should reap your reward.
     
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    • REMO

      REMO Apprentice Gardener

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      Thanks Tetters. Noted. That's my weekend accounted for.
       
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      • Tetters

        Tetters Total Gardener

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        You will be a picture of health when you`ve done it ........ (with luck) Have a lovely weekend :snorky:
         
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        • Notty1975

          Notty1975 Gardener

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          When I started clearing the allotment and reclaimed some land by digging the banking out I found lumps of coal the size of footballs but the allotment is set At the base of a closed colliery so that would explain it do you know if there’s any old slate works and your area?
          Either way as @Tetters said clear as much out as possible will only benefit in the future but keep the rubble to one side it could be used in the future for drainage in planters etc
           
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          • REMO

            REMO Apprentice Gardener

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            No, no slate works, as far as I'm aware anyway. I think the ground that I'm digging was part of an open/public garden at some stage so I don't know if that has any relevance to what I'm finding. It'll all be out (but kept as you say) come Monday either way. Thanks for the input folks :dbgrtmb:
             
          • Clare G

            Clare G Gardener

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            The slates might be broken roof slates? I have a bank at the far end of my garden which includes a lot of these, and other builder's rubbish - chunks of concrete etc.

            Slate fragments can actually be quite decorative. I have been reusing mine as a finish around the pond, also around a rosemary growing in an urn to prevent squirrels digging it up!

            And a friend who also had lots of broken slate roof tiles used those to create slate paths. Think she had to break them up a bit more to do that, and be cautious about sharp edges.
             
          • Tetters

            Tetters Total Gardener

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            I`m wondering then if there`s a pathway of some kind under there... one that became very overgrown. I used some slate and freebie broken slabs to make a path last summer. Don`t forget to let us know will you...:)DSC00001 (4).JPG
             
          • REMO

            REMO Apprentice Gardener

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            ^ That looks wonderful Tetters.

            Turned out that the slate I was finding came from a partition feature/wall which had broken down into the ground. I eventually found part of the wall still in tact and hiding under nettles at the other end of the patch (unfortunately not enough to form a path - that would have been useful). I dug all sorts of bricks/paving/concrete (as per Clare G) from of the area in the end.

            Thanks for all the comments here :)
             
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            • Tetters

              Tetters Total Gardener

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              The work you are putting in now will reap huge rewards later on. Keep on keeping on Remo - you`ll get there :thumbsup:
               

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