If you are planning to start a garden in your yard, have just started one or are doing it for a while but facing many problems, you may have to first consider your soil – whether it’s healthy or not.
Every successful garden primarily needs healthy soil. The good news is that no matter how poor your soil is or what type it is, you can improve it by adding organic matter to it regularly.
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And you don’t even have to spend extra time or efforts in getting organic matter. Lawn clippings, vacuum cleaner waste, kitchen trash, weeds, paper, mulches, wood shavings, pruning, manures and compost are easy sources of organic matter.
Healthy soil consists of numerous minute, soil-borne life forms known as micro-organisms. Many of them even don’t have scientific names yet; but they are harmless and even are beneficial and help suppress soil-borne diseases.
1. Is Your Soil Sweet or Sour?
Don’t worry, you don’t have to taste it to check this one. Simple meaning of this is whether your soil is alkaline (sweet) or acidic (sour).
This is essential to check because if your soil is highly acidic or alkaline, it may block awaynutrients in it and thus limit their access to plants. Here you won’t get any benefit by just adding more fertiliser.
Instead, get a soil pH test kit available at hardware stores and garden centres and it can tell you what your soil type is.
The best soil is obviously neutral, i.e. neither acidic nor alkaline, due to which most nutrients can be easily accessed by your plants.
If your soil is highly alkaline, it can be neutralised by adding powdered sulfur, chelated iron or iron sulfate, whereas highly acidic soil can be neutralised by adding dolomite or lime. All these are available at garden centres and hardware stores.
Once you achieve the neutral status of your soil, maintain it. Before adding any conditioner, test your soil and then test again every six months.
2. Specific Issues
If you live in a home that’s been just built, chances are that your topsoil is different than the natural soil in the area because it has been added after the construction work. So, it may need different conditioning.
If your garden is old and there has been a regular addition of fertilisers, it may be beneficial for common vegetables and flowering plants. However, it could have excessive phosphorous to grow phosphorous-sensitive plants successfully like banksias, proteas and grevilleas.
You can send your soil samples to a soil laboratory for analysis and know everything about your soil. You may think that it’s costly, but the knowledge you will gain is valuable and will save your money on unnecessary soil conditioners and fertilisers in the long run.
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3. Benefits from Seaweeds
If you take advice from an expert like https://amico.com.au/gardening-services-double-bay/, you’ll know that most Australian soils are low in magnesium, zinc, potassium, selenium and boron.
But this won’t have any impact on native plants, though will limit your success with a few exotic plants.
The simplest solution for supplementation and to simultaneously stimulate healthy soil is to regularly make use of commercially available seaweed fertiliser.
Seaweed fertiliser fortified with fish is very beneficial since fish has calcium that will help your plants to absorb phosphorous more readily.
4. Keep Cleanliness
Some kinds of garden wastes should not be recycled. These include shrubs and tree stumps that have died due to soil-borne diseases. They can be potent causes of infection for your healthy plants.
So, remove infected plants and other materials as soon and as much as you can and keep your garden soil clean.
Use these tips, take help of expert gardening services Kensington by Amico and your soil can be just perfect to grow the plants you love and give you the joy of having a successful garden.