Spade Soil

Episode 35: Soils with Tim O’Hare

This episode, I’m talking about one of the fundamental cornerstones that underpins everything we do as growers – soil. And to talk about this vital element, who better than soil scientist and international expert on the subject, Tim O’Hare? Tim is the principal consultant of Tim O’Hare Associates and works on a wide variety of domestic and commercial projects, both in the UK and abroad.

Tim answers questions about issues that most gardeners have faced at some point; soil compaction, poor drainage, working with the soil you have and what to look out for if you’re bringing new soil in to your garden. As well as possessing phenomenal knowledge on the subject, Tim explains things in clear and simple language and you will enjoy this episode whatever your level of gardening expertise.

About Tim O’Hare

Tim is the principal consultant of Tim O’Hare Associates, a leading independent soil science practice that provides soil investigation, testing and consultancy services to the landscape industry. He has been a Soil Scientist for over 20 years, working on anything from domestic garden projects to major construction developments.  Tim and his team have worked on a wide variety of assignments throughout the UK and internationally, including the London Olympic Park and Commonwealth Park in Gibraltar. They also test and approve many of the topsoil and subsoil products that are sold into the landscape market nationwide.

Earlier this year Tim was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by The Kew Guild (Association of Alumni of the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew) for his “outstanding contribution to the environment”.

We discuss:

Common problems with soil management

Storing and moving soil during building works

Soil compaction

Wet soils

Ways to combat poorly draining soils

Bringing life into new or damaged soils

The impacts of transporting soil into and away from a site

What to look for when you’re buying soil

Soil contamination

Tim’s more challenging/unusual work

Soil erosion and the shape of our future food production


Tim O’Hare Associates – Soil & Landscape Consultancy

London Olympic Park

Tim’s recommended read for an understanding of soil formation, properties and nomenclature ‘The Nature & Properties of Soils’ by Nyle C Brady & Raymond R Weil.

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