This is a transcript of our gardening video on improving your soil.
Ever planted a beautiful new garden with disappointing results, and wondered why it didn’t work out so well? The answer could be right below your feet – the soil! A good soil is the foundation to a healthy waterwise garden, and the heathier your soil is, the stronger your plants will be.
Sandy soil is commonly found in and around the Perth metro area and across the state in mainly coastal suburbs. Sand is not a great base soil for gardens as it has a low water and nutrient holding capacity and as such draws heavily on our water resources. So water is often wasted as it won’t stay in the root zone long enough for your plants to take it up before its passed through to the sub soil beyond the plants roots.
The ideal plant growing medium, or soil type for most exotic garden plants, is a loam. It’s made up of a composition of clay, silt and sand. It slows water movement through the soil allowing plants longer to absorb it, while reducing leaching issues.
The good news is you can create a more loamy style soil, by improving it before you plant. You can do this by thoroughly mixing organic matter, like compost and manure, in the top 30 centimetres of soil and adding clay. The addition of clay is a permanent amendment and doesn’t need to be done again.
It’s best to use soil improvers before planting a new garden, which is best done in autumn and spring. You can also retrofit an existing garden by adding clay, compost and mulch to create turning a beautiful loamy structure. Local or endemic species of native plants do not require this kind of soil amendment as they have adapted to growing in our local environment over thousands of years.
For more information on improving your soils, visit watercorporation.com.au