Posted: 05/04/2013 at 21:22
I've recently moved from Australia to Northern Ireland, and have managed to make some fantastic gardening mistakes forgetting the differences in climate. I managed to get my head around having to grow things under glass and "hardening" etc., but missed the boat on preparing the soil. My Oz garden was in a desert, so a sucessful garden needed heavy organic compost and mulch, and I never had to worry about drainage because the was practically no rain and you could regulate water by watering less. Foolishly I failed to realize that in Northern Ireland the only break from regular rain seems to be snow, and so I've followed my old habits and filled my beds with loam and peat heavy compost, and I believe there is solid clay underneath. A perfect example of pride and fall.
So my dilemma is this: I've already got bulbs and some violas in the garden, all just starting to sprout and thanks to the very cold Spring, but they seem to be surviving. Once it warms up I have dozens of annual plants that I intend to put into the same bed. I'm worried that my bedding plants are not going to do well in the moisture heavy soil. Is there anything I can do to improve drainage without digging everything up? Is there any hope at all that it might be alright despite my soil botch?
Many thanks for any advice or words of comfort.