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Gardening Down Under

Organic matter has three times the cation exchange capacity of the richest clay. Aeration in dense soils : Healthy soil, like any other living organism, needs airflow to thrive. Without sufficient airflow, plant roots and beneficial organisms cannot access the necessary oxygen required for growth. Additionally, carbon dioxide can build up in the soil atmosphere and plants will stunt, ceasing to grow.

How to Build and Nourish Healthy Garden Soil | Eartheasy Guides & Articles

Important nutrients : Decomposing organic matter provides the soil with nutrients that plants need to grow. Ideal garden soil. Clay Soil Clay minerals, metal oxides, and little organic matter. Rich in nutrients but hard and compact when dry. Sandy Soil Usually small rocks and minerals, very porous. Plants quickly dry out. If it retains its shape and crumbles with a poke, you have loamy soil. Lucky you! Your yearly maintenance will be minimal, requiring small additions of organic nutrients in the form of well-rotted compost every spring. If it retains its shape and does not break with a poke, you have clay soil.

A Guide to Healthier Soils and Plants

Unfortunately, this soil needs work. Till or work your soil until the medium is quite loose. Compaction is the biggest enemy in clay soils, so avoid stepping on beds and add generous amounts of fine organic matter in the spring and fall. Top dress with larger, mulch-like clippings, sawdust, or fine chips. These will break down slowly and work their way into the soil.


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Clay soil is usually very rich in nutrients, so avoid fertilization unless a soil test demands it. If it crumbles when you open your hand, you have a sandy soil.

5 TIPS FOR BUILDING PERFECT HEALTHY SOIL FOR FREE

This is the most common and the easiest soil to amend. On its own, sandy soil drains so quickly it can be hard to keep up with the watering. This is because sand particles are large and coarse, which allows water to move through it very quickly, causing plants to wilt soon after a rainfall. Sand has no capacity to retain water without the help of lots of organic matter and a bit of clay.

Over time, and with regular additions, you can turn sandy soil into a nice rich loam. To understand fertilizers and how to add them to your garden, you can find a detailed article here Soil Amendment Purpose and Effect Compost The most valuable amendment.


  1. ISBN 13: 9780643066779.
  2. Gardening Down Under A Guide To Healthier Soils And Plants!
  3. Gardening Down-Under - Tracey Bool Garden Writer?

Adds rich organic matter to the soil. Manure Adds rich organic matter but may contain weed seeds. Peat Raises soil acidity, increases aeration, and improves moisture retention. A limited resource.

Gardening Down-Under: A Guide to Healthier Soils and Plants

Either by signing into your account or linking your membership details before your order is placed. Your points will be added to your account once your order is shipped. Click on the cover image above to read some pages of this book! This fully revised edition of Kevin Handreck's classic best-seller contains a wealth of information for practical gardeners. It will enable you to improve the worst of soils, choose the best fertilizer for particular plants and minimize water use. It also contains a comprehensive guide to managing potted plants.

Here also are the basics of soil, composting, fertilisers and potting mixes, as well as simple tests and colour guides to nutrient deficiencies. Gardening Down-Under covers much practical information left out by other gardening books. If you buy no other book on gardening, then buy this one for a common-sense approach to the soil in your backyard that you are going to convert into a garden. It is clearly set out, reads easily and full of practical issues which we all face in our gardening. Reading it won't make you a better drier, but as far a keeping things running smoothly and being able to fix things when they go wrong you will be streets ahead.

Garden lover. Help Centre. It will enable you to improve the worst of soils, choose the best fertiliser for particular plants and minimise water use. It also contains a comprehensive guide to managing potted plants. Gardening Down-Under covers much practical information left out by other gardening books.

Watch an episode of "Down to Earth" where Kevin Handreck offers advice on soil and gardening for the home gardener. More videos from the series are available on YouTube.