Wanda’s Word on Soil Amendment


Get the dirt on your garden…

You may have noticed that Perth doesn’t have an awful lot of soil. Instead, we have sand. Buckets and buckets of sand. Water just rolls off it, wind blows it around. Forget about trying to dig a hole…its just falls back in. Whilst you can get an array of plants which thrive in sand, many of us want to grow more than Natives or paper daisies. It’s very important to fix up the soil before you plant. By adding a few things, you can enrich your sand and turn it in to rich, moist soil. Pretty cool, huh? 

Clay

Mixing clay into your garden beds is a great, natural way to aid water absorption and retention. The clay particles bond with the sand and help improve the soil structure. This provides excellent drainage, so the water doesn’t just sit on the top, but also helps retain that water in the ground. Not only does this mean that your soil stays moist, it ensures that any other nutrients you add such as liquid fertiliser, don’t get washed away.

Rock Dust

Rock dust is exactly what it sounds like! Crazy, right? Why on Earth would you want to put crushed rocks in your garden??? Well, that’s simple. Because the rocks have already been ground to powder, it’s easier for it to break down and release trace elements into the soil. Phosphorus, potassium, calcium, sulfur, iron and copper are all fantastic for your plants. For example, calcium helps to build strong cell walls, which helps to fight off disease. As Rock Dust needs to break down, it’s considered a slow release fertiliser. This means that it wont wash away and it perfect for adding nutrients to sandy soil.

Compost     

Healthy gardens have plenty of organic matter in the soil. This can be done with a variety of things such as manure, garden waste and kitchen scraps. You can also purchase pre-made compost, which is a blend of already partially broken down organic matter. Compost adds structure to your soil, again allowing water absorption and retention. It also encourages worms, good bacteria and fungi to break down the compost further and release the rich nutrients.

Microbes

Our locally sourced microbes are a wonder! It’s a blend of good bacteria and fungi which help with a range of things. N-fixers help to balance the nitrogen in the soil. This is particularly important when you have used bark based mulch, as the mulch can produce too much nitrogen. Bacilli Lactic acid bacteria help soil conditioning and structure, improving sandy soil. The most important aspect of microbes, however, is the Pseudomonas Soldier bacteria, which helps to protect and grow the root structure of your plants. Rather than being a fertiliser (which gives a shot of ‘food’ to the plants), microbes are a conditioner. They enrich and improve the ability of the soil to supply the needed nutrients to the plants.