Whether you are digging out your very first vegetable patch, need to top up those flower beds or are planning a complete renovation of your garden, at some stage you are likely to need to buy some soil. It gives plants that healthy glow and vegetables the right nutrients they need to thrive in the environment; however, soil is not just soil. There are huge variations in each batch, and many soil suppliers will mix their own blends of soil for different situations.
Before you head down to your local gardening supply centre and pick up a bag of soil, there are lots of things you need to consider, including what nutrients your plants will need to survive in the tough Australian climate, the types of vegetables you want to grow and whether you are growing anything which needs an acidic base. Read on to find out three key factors in picking the right soil for your garden.
Think about what your plants will need
Different plants will need very different types of soil. Your garden beds should be organised by soil type so that each type of plant is with others that need the same type of soil. At a basic level, if you are growing nutrient-intensive plants such as vegetables, you will generally need a heaver and richer soil than other plants will require. Once you know what you would like to grow, you should head online or ask a specialist at your local garden centr, to find out specifically what type of soil will work best for each plant. You should also establish the type of soil you already have in your garden, as blending different types of soil together will produce different results; in extreme cases you may need to remove the soil from the bed if you are planning on growing particularly sensitive plants.
Think about the climate you are in
While people all over the country will complain about the tough Australian climate for growing plants, you need to think about how that climate manifests itself in your area. Fundamentally, you need to decide if you require soil which keeps moisture in—for example, if you are in a hot climate and need to conserve water—or if you need to get water out, which is important if you are in an area which experiences sudden, heavy rainfall. Soil is vital in keeping the micro-ecosystem of your garden working at its best, so be sure to consider it as proactive tool in doing so.
What you can supplement the soil with
After doing some research, you may come to the conclusion that no matter the soil you buy, you are unlikely to have suitable growing conditions. Do not despair however, as there are plenty of composts, manures and mulches which can be used to supplement soil and bring it up to the quality you need. Do not over-focus on the soil, but rather consider it in the wider context of your garden.Share
15 January 2018
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