Bhal Debate

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Mustansir Billah
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Re: Bhal Debate

Post by Mustansir Billah » August 8th, 2013, 2:22 pm

I have listened that bhal soil comes from deserts?

Hamad Ahmed Kisana
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Re: Bhal Debate

Post by Hamad Ahmed Kisana » August 8th, 2013, 2:35 pm

Mustansir Billah wrote:I have listened that bhal soil comes from deserts?
aah i am surprised with your question.. :roll: perhaps you want to say sand comes from desert. :?: and you asked this question without reading upper posts i think.

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Re: Bhal Debate

Post by Mustansir Billah » August 8th, 2013, 2:51 pm

Many of the posts I have read but it was written that it comes from shores. ( but maybe I sould read it more carefully )

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Re: Bhal Debate

Post by newton » August 8th, 2013, 10:36 pm

It mostly depends on what you want to grow. If you look around your environment ie, in the roadside or verges, neighbors gardens, public parks etc, you will be able to tell what types of plants are growing well and that should give you a starting point as to what types of plants are guaranteed to do well in your garden with minimum effort. you can always create unique-ness by planting the rare and hard to obtain varieties. you can also add drama using hard landscaping techniques.

However if you choose plants that require vastly different soil conditions then be prepared for some back breaking work. It does not get any easier with time and even then your plants may not show off to their best ability. You only need a small amount of neglect and you will also lose many plants

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Re: Bhal Debate

Post by alirazaq » September 2nd, 2013, 12:49 am

Help needed......I have same clayee soil as Hammad.....if i wanted to make it more porous and sandy.....do i have to add sand which is used for construction purposes namely "Rait" or there is any other type of sand?

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Re: Bhal Debate

Post by newton » September 2nd, 2013, 2:40 am

The absolute best garden soil improver available in the whole wide world in my humble opinion is rotten leafmould. it works wonders on most problem soils, is cheap and easy to make (if you have access to fallen leaf litter). simply gather up old fallen leaves and leave them in bags or in a dedicated pile to disintegrate, if you can 10% grass clippings the nitrogen content will speed up the decomposition process. It generally takes around 12 months to produce gold, pure gold.

If your near the coast and your soil is even more sandy then add some dried seaweeds, (the seaweed acts like a jelly binding the particles together to retains moisture and nutrients) . It is low in nitrogen/phosphate but helps unlock the nutrients already present in the soil. The biological hormones present also accelerate plant growth. Add some horse manure and you will have the finest potatoes or tomatoes or roses for miles around.

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Re: Bhal Debate

Post by alirazaq » September 3rd, 2013, 1:51 am

agree with you hammad, leafmold is very helpful to improve soil......But what about my question about sand?? Is it the same sand(Rait) used in construction?

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Re: Bhal Debate

Post by newton » September 3rd, 2013, 4:26 am

Five steps to improving clay soils:
Make raised beds to assist drainage and to reduce trampling of the soil
Consider adopting a ‘no-dig’ regime, especially in raised beds, as these suit clay soils well
Some, but not all, clay soils respond to extra calcium, which causes the soil particles to flocculate (clump together). Where the soil is acid, lime can be applied, but elsewhere it is better to add gypsum. Gypsum is the active ingredient of many commercial ‘clay improvers’. Test on a small area in the first instance to ensure it is effective on your type of clay better still get a soil analysis done first.
Dig in plenty of bulky organic matter such as manure or, ideally, composted bark, as this can make a noticeable improvement to the working properties of clay
Apply organic mulches around trees, shrubs and other permanent plants as these will reduce summer cracking and help conserve moisture

Adding grit, sand or gravel to clay soils:
Clay particles are amazingly dominant in a soil. This is explained by the relative size of the different particles (clay, sand and silt) that soil contains. Clay particles are very small but, because this allows more particles to fit in any given space (say 1cm cubed), they have huge surface area that dominates the physical properties of soil. In comparison, sand and silt particles are larger, so fewer particles are needed to fill a space (say 1cm cubed again). As a result, the overall surface area of sand and silt is smaller and so much less influential on determining the characteristics of a soil than the clay particles.

A note of caution to gardeners who would attempt to improve clay soils by randomly amending them with sand: This is a very risky business unless the sand (often incorporated as much as 50:50 by volume) is a very sharp/coarse sand. Otherwise, additions of fine sand to clay soil can create a cement like creature that resists root growth and impedes the flow of air and water. there are many types of clay soil and the analysis of the one you have is required before adding the sand.
When one mixes a sandy and a clay soil together, the large pore spaces of the sandy soil are filled with the smaller clay particles. This results in a heavier, denser soil with less total pore space than either the sandy or the clay soil alone. (A good analogy is the manufacture of concrete, which entails mixing sand with cement - a fine particle substance. The results are obvious.) A soil must consist of nearly 50% sand by total volume before it takes on the characteristics of a sandy soil. For most sites, it would be prohibitively expensive to remove half the existing soil and add an equal volume (9-12") of sand and then till it to the necessary 18-24".
Even where a clay soil contains for example 40 percent clay particles (a relatively modest content compared to heavy clay soils), the proportion of clay in the top cultivated part of the soil would have to be reduced by half to make the soil easy to work. This would require 250kg per sq m (460lbs per sq yd) of grit or gravel. Experimenting on a small scale at first is recommended to be sure that any additions are worthwhile and won't have damaging effects on workability of the soil.

In practice what this means is: to dilute the proportion of clay in a heavy soil requires very large volumes of grit or other material. It is seldom feasible to do this on anything but a small scale and, for most gardeners, other options such as raised beds, adding organic matter and choosing plants that thrive in clays are more practical.

To determine "workability," roll some soil between your palms into a ball about an inch in diameter. The structure is right for growing when a pinch between thumb and finger causes the ball of soil to fracture, break, or crumble into pieces.

The safest and best bet is the following process as I followed in my garden in Pakistan over the last three years

Two or three inches of organic materials should be spread and tilled, forked or dug into the top six or seven inches of your garden beds. This can be bark, sawdust, manure, leaf mold, compost and peat moss.

Sand should be added only after the addition of organic matter, or the aforementioned concrete-like mixture may result. Two inches of sand along with two inches of organic matter will be required to improve the structure of clay soils.

Dont expect miracle growths in the first year though. When a large amount of organic material is added to the soil, microorganisms multiply rapidly. Since they construct their bodies from the same nutrients that plants use, soil nutrients can be relatively unavailable for a time after an addition of manure or compost. This condition may persist until the organic material is broken down and nutrients are released.

For the initial plantings you can add some fertilisers or better still grow some leguminous plants like clover or bharsan or mustard. These plants roots will extend deep into the clay exploding it open. At the same time they will inhibit the growth of weeds. The following year cut the tops of the crops down but don't till the soil, the leguminous roots having absorbed nitrogen from the air make it available for your plants. to keep down weeds add another two or three inches of good topsoil/compost and make individual small holes where you want to put in your plants, then let nature do the rest. the following season till and grow as per normal.

In respect of types of sand to use, if its river sand as is commonly used for building in the Punjab then is fine to use but it should be the sharp/coarse sand (bigger particles) and not the finer one used for plastering.

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Re: Bhal Debate

Post by mikhurram » September 4th, 2013, 11:23 am

All the points mentioned above are spot on. Furthermore to fix clay soil the coarser sand to be used in our local terminology is Lawrencepur Ki raete (sand) or Taxila sand.

Regarding addition of gypsum it should only be added once as being a salt addition of too much gypsum will poison the soil

A less permanent but easier way as mentioned above is to add organic matter (leaf mold or patto ki Khad) 10-20 cm layer which would open the soil's structure and improves drainage in addition to adding nutrients and then mulch.

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Re: Bhal Debate

Post by Muhammad Arif Khan » September 4th, 2013, 12:17 pm

mikhurram wrote:All the points mentioned above are spot on. Furthermore to fix clay soil the coarser sand to be used in our local terminology is Lawrencepur Ki raete (sand) or Taxila sand.

Regarding addition of gypsum it should only be added once as being a salt addition of too much gypsum will poison the soil

A less permanent but easier way as mentioned above is to add organic matter (leaf mold or patto ki Khad) 10-20 cm layer which would open the soil's structure and improves drainage in addition to adding nutrients and then mulch.
What is composition of Gypsum?
Which element if in excess will poison the soil?
How much (say per 10 SqFt is OK and how much would be too much?
How will a LAYER of 20 cm leaf mold open the soil structure (unless you mix it in).

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