Which is the right soil for my garden?
There are many different types of soil which are classified by there properties, behavior and genesis. The three main types are.
Sand – This soil is made up of large particles and is often used to break up clay soil in the garden.
Silt – This is made of medium sized particles as it is very dusty and will erode quickly if not kept moist.
Clay – This is made up of small particles as it compacts very easily. This soil would need amendments such as sand or peat moss.
The best soil for your vegetable garden is dependent on the type of garden you have available.
- For a raised garden you want a 50/50 ratio of compost and topsoil.
- For a field garden you would need soil that drains very well.
- Clay soil would need to be amended in order for the water to drain well.
The best soil for flowers is again dependent on the type of flower, whether it is a bulb or a seed.
- Sandy soil provides excellent drainage to prevent the roots from rotting, allowing the roots to grow easily.
- The texture of potting soil is used best when planting flowers into pots or containers.
- For a flower garden you can use a soil mixture of compost, peat and topsoil as a general mix.
DID YOU KNOW?
- 1 tablespoon of soil has more organisms in it than there are people on earth.
- There are 5000 different bacteria in one gram of soil
- 15 Tons of dry soil per acre pass through one earthworm per year
- 0,01% of the earths water is held in soil
The best soil for most plants is rich sandy soil. We stock the following soils.
Organic compost – This is a well-balanced soil conditioner made from the finest organic, uncontaminated raw materials to enhance and build up the structure of depleted garden soils. This can be added with potting soil to plant vegetables and other fruit trees and flowers.
Acid compost – Acid Mix is an acidic growing medium for acid loving plants such as Azaleas, Fuchsias, Zantedeschias and many more. Acid compost is needed with most of the berry plants, such as Blueberries, Cranberries, Raspberries, Elderberry, Youngberries and Blackberries.
Potting soil – A mixture of composted bark, compost, topsoil suitable for planting ornamental plants in pots and planter boxes. This can be added with compost to plant vegetables and many other trees and flowers.
Volcanic rock dust – Contains 72 major minerals and trace elements to help improve and remineralise your soil. It stimulates soil micro organism activity which revitalises existing plants and trees. It is non toxic, environmentally friendly and totally natural.
Pine bark mulch – Course grade composted bark mulch which is used to retain moisture and control germination of weed seeds. Can also be used in garden walk-ways.
Lithuanian Peat moss – Acidic peat for acidic plants such as Protea, Blueberry and Azalea. Typically blended with local raw material to decrease pH of growing media and soil.
Berry mix – A mixture of composted materials especially mixed for Just Berry Plants. This mixture is very nutritional for berry plants and can even be used on its own for your fruit trees.
With winter in SA and the temperatures dropping it is well deserved to spend some time in the garden to improve the soil. By adding your grass cuttings into the soil, you can use less nitrogen fertiliser, as grass cuttings are rich in nutrients. You can also add all the fallen leaves within your garden into the soil. These leaves have been packed with trace minerals which have been drawn deep from within the soil. Adding leaves will feed the earthworms who assist with the decomposing of material and as well as the beneficial microbes. Leaves also lighten the soil allowing it to retain moisture. Gathering these cuttings regularly and allowing it to cure will provide great compost to any garden.
Combining different soils will truly assist in the growing of your relevant plants. Why not try something new in your vegetable garden, called lasagna layering. This method of building your garden allows you to add different layers of organic material, that will “cook down” over time, resulting in nutrient rich soil. There are many different ideas of lasagna gardening, so the best would be to try whatever suits your needs. The following example is fairly easy allowing you to use material from your own garden.
|Top layer||Compost or potting soil|
|Grass cuttings and food scraps|
|Dried leaves, hay or sawdust|
|Compost, potting soil or manure|
|Bottom layer||Newspaper / Cardboard|
Please remember that when adding manure into your garden you need to ensure that it “cures” properly by allowing it to dry out over a period of time. Adding fresh manures directly into your garden can be harmful to your plants.
Whatever your soil requirements are, visit Just Berry Plants for assistance in purchasing the best quality organic soils.
Take the time to prepare your garden with the correct soils to reap the benefits of your hard work.