Tag Archives: soil

Symbiosis and fertility

So far we have focused on soil structure the chemicals. The trend today, is to take a piece of land, strip the top soil and build on the sub soil. Then to replace the top soil for landscaping, they bring in what they call “sandy loam”. This is usually mostly sand with minimal loam. It […]

Trace Elements

These are elements, that effect soil fertility but are present in tiny amounts, too small to measure without some very sophisticated equipment. Different trace elements favour different plants. We are still discovering what trace elements do in plants. In many cases they are present in such small amounts, it is hard to determine if they […]

Soil fertility – The NPK group – Nitrogen

Nitrogen To produce leafy growth plants need more nitrogenous compounds. Through photosynthesis they break these down to extract the nitrogen required to create leaf cells. This means they need a compound that is rich in nitrogen. Usually we use urea or ammonium sulphate based fertilisers to increase the nitrogen available for plants. Chicken manure is […]

Fertility and the NPK group – Potassium

Potassium Potassium is generally linked to seed, flowers and fruit production. It is highly soluble and easily leached out of the soil. For this reason is uis more common in sandy soils. Though it is present in manure in small quantities, it is much higher in ash. Primitive cultures discovered that burning off the vegetation […]

Soil fertility and plant nutrients

We have looked at soil structure which is usually the key to a good garden in most areas but we should also discuss fertility here as well. Fertility is the result of three factors: Structure – it doesn’t matter how rich your soil is in nutrients if the plant can’t get to them or the […]

Soil structure – the wet test

In my case we had a red clay. To see how much of each component was in the soil, I placed a sample of soil in a glass bottle, so it filled it to about half way. I added water and shook it vigorously. I left it to settle overnight and it separated into three […]

Soil – Simple testing – the dry test

To test your soil for structure: the dry test dig a small area and remove any plant material. Turn it over and water it lightly tonight. Tomorrow about midday, dig down until it feels moist. Remove a fist full and squeeze it together in your hand.It should stay in a clump, not ooze out between […]

Soil – creating the best growing medium

There are three basic components in soil. At this point we are looking at soil structure rather than the various nutrients needed for the different types of plants. This is a very simple version for the average gardener, not a geological exercise : Humus – this is basically plant material, mostly plant fibre. It retains […]

Soil

We have set up our paths and retaining walls, the next step is to create your gardens. Whether it’s a vege garden, seed bed or established shrubs and trees, the major factor in their survival is the soil itself. Get the soil right now and you will reap the rewards for many years to come, […]