The serious lack of hard weather is reflected in the soil conditions.  Market gardener Andrew McTurk who farms in Brentwood in Essex says the soil is not in particularly good order this year.  A hard frost is extremely beneficial as it gives the top tilth where the surface is lovely and nice.  As he explained to Ken Crowther it doesn’t need many frosts but there hasn’t been enough this year to make a good job.

Plants, like humans like to pick and choose who they hang around with. They all want their own bit of space and to achieve this some plants release a toxin through their roots directly into the soil which inhibits the growth of competing plants as Mike Thurlow reports.

When planting in the garden it’s a good idea to test whether soil is acid or alkaline as different plants will grow in different soils. If you have never tested the pH level of your soil or measured the level of major nutrients then your plants might struggle to grow properly as Adam Pasco explains.