Choosing the right plant selection for your soil type.
What type of soil do you have in your garden?
Regardless of what soil type you have there is a solution.
Clay Soil or Heavy Soils may contain plenty of nutrients but have drainage and aeration problems which affect plant growth. The complex nature of the soil inhibits plant root growth and its ability to take up nutrients.
Sandy Soils are easy to manage but do not hold water and nutrients well.
Loam Soils are the pick of the bunch providing plants with easily accessible nutrients, open soil to allow roots to grow and spread well to allow good nutrient and water uptake along with providing good drainage in wet conditions. If you have loam soil, consider yourself very lucky as most of the hard work has been done by nature. Mulching well will benefit its ongoing health.
How to work with your soil type & start planting.
Clay or Heavy Soils
need time to change their structure so don’t expect a miracle overnight. If you are eager to get started, you may prefer using your time & money to build raised garden beds by using a quality soil purchased from your local landscape supplier. This is by far the best way to establish gardens & will provide a better environment for the plants to establish their roots. When the roots of your plants reach the clay soil the products you have applied before raising the garden beds, would have had time to effect the soil structure and your plants will continue to thrive. Raised gardens provide wonderful drainage which benefits native and exotic species but especially Natives. Species like Grevillea are renowned to dying during wet weather purely because of poor drainage. If you are unable to add good top soil, follow the recommendations outlined below.
Clay soils are best cultivated after applying Gypsum (at the recommended rate on the packaging) and then a generous layer of organic material (no animal manure if you are planning on planting Native Species) and sand. How much you add of each product will depend on the species of plant you are planning to use.
Native Species prefer sandy, nutrient deficient soil (no animal manure) and will not thrive if the soil is not well drained. If you are thinking of purchasing a plan including a Native planting, then building up your gardens with a soil specifically made for natives would be highly recommended.
Ensure you check the soils pH and adjust accordingly. pH kits are available from your local hardware or garden centre for around $20.00.
are the best for growing Native Species. This said, planting exotic species are not out of the question but you will need to prepare your soil thoroughly before planting. If your plantings are likely to receive salty wind spray or splash, then your plant selection will need to be specific to seaside plantings. (Checkout of Garden Package – Salt Tolerant Plant Species)
Regardless of your plant species choice, the addition of organic matter (no manure for Native Species) will greatly improve the structure of the soil and encourage worms. Worms play an important role in the health of your soil by providing nutrients and enabling oxygen exchange and water movement into the soil through their tunnels. Worms love moist organic material, so a continuous supply will be very beneficial. Supplementary fertilizing may also be required in the initial stages whilst your soil structure is altering. Good quality decomposing mulch & organic matter will be your key to success.
Ensure you check the soils pH and adjust accordingly (pH kits are available from your local hardware or garden centre).
are all soils between the extremes of sand and clay soils. You can plant just about anything and I will thrive. Loam soils always benefit from the application of good quality mulch as this continues to encourage beneficial worm activity and increases water retention.
Ensure you check the soils pH and adjust accordingly (pH kits are available from your local hardware or garden centre for around $20.00).
**The points above are indicative and not exhaustive of everything that you need, or may want to take into consideration.