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10/06/2014 at 22:29
I have just replied to a question or two on another forum.  I do hope that the info will help others who might have similar problems.   I got lost for a moment or two. Firstly if I may. I agree with Reckers point about conifer needles etc. Yes there is an acid content, but to be honest. I think massive loads would be required before having any diverse effect in general. The point of getting these and/or other more fibreous material to mix with the clay, is to help splitting it up and in time to break down etc. The main reason for the overall dryness of the soil. Conifers similar to the growt you see above ground, perform similar below ground. They go down and down, in search of water. The problem with conifers and buildings. It is not spreading roots that endanger building foundations. Conifers are not root spreaders. NO. They go down and drain all the moisture and goodness out of the ground. The surraounding soil then dries out and bcome like sand. This then slip away into the void caused by the conifer roots. Thus the foundations will in turn start to slip and subside. With clay. It needs to be broken down. That way, come really dry, drought conditions, there will be a good area above the solid clay.

Ret Tired. Similar answer to your question. I'm sorry, but the idea of just and inch or two of top soil. OK for seed sowing. However as the seedling grow and develop, so also their roots. In general practice. You will do well to have a'spit'. One spade depth of good top soil. Over time compost and such can be added. As top soil varies so much and the cost likewise. It is a good idea to obtain as much leaf-mould as you can. The fallen leaves contain so many natural nutrients. So beneficial to the soil and plants. In addition. Leaf-mould is the one commodity that doesn't have to be rotted down before using. Spread it thick and wide. Then with simple single spit digging, dig it in.

I hope this helps.
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