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How well do you know your soils?

Knowing your soil type and it's pH level can assist landscapers and gardeners in providing the basics to achieving the perfect soil conditions for lawns and gardens to thrive. With that information we can improve on its nutrient value, ability to hold water and it's pH levels depending on the purpose of the soil.

At SoilWorx, the soils we supply are produced through blending nutrients and other materials through a raw product to produce a good quality soil which is suitable for most commercial and residential use (Lawn Mix).

In addition to the lawn mix , we are able to provide a Garden Soil which is for garden bed use and planting where more organic matter is required.

Our top of the range soil, the Premium Soil Blend has been developed with AS4419 in mind and tends to meet most standards. As part of our commitment to quality control, the soils we supply are regularly tested through a NATA accredited testing facility. These reports are available upon request.

Soil testing is an important part of the process which gives you physical information about the soil which can then be used to optimise growth or assist in solving soil-related problems.

Benefits of understanding a soil test

  1. Helps ascertain the pH levels in the soil and ensures that enough nutrients are available for the plants.
  2. Helps ensure that nutrient intake by the plants will be optimal.
  3. Can help you determine what to do about the soil’s fertility and successfully develop a garden or soil fertility program that will aid and improve your plant’s chances of success.
  4. Ensures that your planting project is successful on the basis that the soil has been installed adequately.

 

Understand the reports – What does it all mean?

<strong">pH – influences nutrient availability to a range of plants. The pH ensures broad availability of all nutrients to most plants. However, some plants are recognised as ‘acid loving’. This group includes ornamentals such as azaleas, camellias and some fruit tress such as citrus. Acid lovers are generally iron efficient and need a low pH to allow them access this important element.

Hydraulic Conductivity – assesses the risk of compaction and degree to which water can easily drain into the soil

Plant Available Nutrients – provides information on nutrient levels from which decision on fertiliser applications are based upon.

Carbon exchange capacity – is the measure of the potential fertility of the soil and the analysis of the component catons which provide information on the chemical balance of the soil.

ph-scale.jpg

Other important information:

  • Compost – makes a great addition to almost any soil. It promotes enhanced biological activity, improves soil structure, water holding properties and helps grow healthy plants. Remember to dig it in lightly and mulch well.
  • Soil Compaction - occurs through the application of pressure to the soil – pedestrian, vehicles and machinery are the most likely causes. This pushes the particles closer together and thus reduces the pore spaces in the soil. Compaction will inevitably lead to the following:
    • Loss of pore space – reduction in a water-holding capacity and aeration.
    • Decreased permeability - as the soil pore space is reduced this creates several problems such as water logging, surface run off, and erosion.
    • Disease – existing plants become weakened through stressful conditions.
    • Depleted oxygen level.
    • Reduced roots and stunted growth.

We understand that its impractical not to use machinery on site particularly for the larger volume jobs but we highly recommend that once the soil is laid, you aerate the soil  prior to planting .

  • Fertilisers:  Fertilisers come in two broad categories –Compound fertilisers, and Straight fertilisers.  Compound fertilisers are those that contain a number of different elements as opposed to the Straights which provide primarily one nutrient, or are used for one main nutrient. A principal consideration when applying fertilisers is the rate at which they release their nutrients for plant uptake.

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