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By Arwadoo

Jammu& Kashmir, India In

In a portion of my kitchen garden, the problem is the ancient pottery pieces of small and medium sizes mixed with the soil. In fact, the area seems to have been dumping site of the potters waste. The waste includes the red clay nodules, broken or rejected pottery pieces .The soil is highly porous due to these pebbles. What could be the remedy as the pebbles interfere during tilling? After heavy rains, the top of the soil is left with shinning shingle of the pebbles. It is not possible to separate the pebbles physically, only the bigger ones are taken out of the vegetable beds.

Ancient_pottery_waste_a_menace Ancient_pottery_waste_a_menace_1



the only thing i could suggest is to dig up and seive the topsoil . Or rake them to the edge of the bed with a fine toothed rake.

18 Apr, 2011


And add more humus-containing material like compost or rotted-down manure or grow green manures to dig in?
The bits of pottery count as stones, so what you have is a very stony soil. It can be improved by feeding it more humus.

18 Apr, 2011


Pottery pieces are better than stones, because they hold water and nutrients. Continuing to add organic matter is the long term solution to the problems associated with this soil, and will help gradually break down the clay "pebbles" into smaller granules. If you want to grow root crops, dig it up to about 30 cm, and sift out everything larger than 1/2 cm.

20 Apr, 2011


Let me thank all for the solutions and interest in the problem.
Pottery pieces are mixed with the soil in appreciable percentage. I did try to sieve the pieces out a few years back, it is a costly operation and disposal of the pieces is tedious. Tugbrethil's solution is what is possible. In the second photo, the pieces are reduced in size and may not be as detrimental as the bigger pieces. Yes, the pottery pieces soak some water to release for the plants,


22 Apr, 2011


I just thought of something, though. If many of those pieces are glazed, be aware that many older forms of pottery have lead in the glaze, so it may be worth while testing for lead. If a test isn't possible, put in some superphosphate to bind the lead, just in case.

23 Apr, 2011


Thanks , Not a single piece is glazed. It is pure baked earth, mainly thin pieces.

24 Apr, 2011


Likely to be safe, then.

25 Apr, 2011

How do I say thanks?

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