Replanting a compacted driveway

Discussion in 'Put Your Questions to the Experts!' started by Mat, Nov 27, 2017.

  1. Mat

    Mat Junior Member

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    Hello. Im turning a section of my gravel driveway in to a mini food forest. Its very compacted earth mostly clay and gravel. Im thinking I will plant a cover crop over the summer to bring some nitrogen and maybe help loosen up the soil. Has anyone got any ideas of a good legume for the job or any adice on the process.
    Thanks all.
     
  2. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    nothing happens fast in that sort of area in my
    experience. you can plant alfalfa and other cover
    crops and they will eventually help, but it takes a few
    years to get them established.

    buckwheat, radishes, turnips are same season.

    winter wheat and winter rye are great followups to
    a quick crop of buckwheat. hard to turn under
    though if you have gravel, but i suppose you could
    actually use them as crops or just chop them a
    few times and then plant into the stubble.

    any organic matter you can put on top helps of
    course.

    i've got an area i'll be screening crushed limestone
    from the soil as it really gets in the way of scraping
    or digging or weeding if i have to do anything by
    hand. i can always toss the screened gravel back
    on other pathways.

    if you can rip it a few deep and narrow furrows i
    think that will help quite a bit.
     
  3. Mat

    Mat Junior Member

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    Thanks alot for that songbird. I have acquired about 10 m3 of composted cow poo and straw. Im thinking of laying about 6 inches on top then doing a cover crop. Good idea you think?
     
  4. Jason_H

    Jason_H New Member

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    I would deep rip a heavily compacted area and plant a legume cover crop for tilling into the soil over a 1-2 years period before trying to put anything long term in there.
     
  5. Mat

    Mat Junior Member

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    Thanks Jason. I guess theres no magic quick fix. Cheers
     
  6. Jason_H

    Jason_H New Member

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    No mate, not unless you want to make it an elevated garden bed type arrangement, in which case you would be bringing in all the soil rich in organic matter for the plants to grow in above the heavily compacted layer. Over time the subterranean life would slowly work on the compacted layer to loosen it.
     
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