Let’s get right to it, Perth has some of the worst native soil on the planet. Though with some human intervention, WA has the ability to create some of the best gardens in the world. This can be attributed to our irrigation systems, which prevent the city from reverting to its natural sand belt state. Let’s go through a few simple ways on how to fix your soil in Perth, Western Australia.
The soil is the most important ingredient in the mix when it comes to a healthy garden. Unfortunately, Perth and Western Australia is not blessed with the perfect loamy soil that we all strive for. So, as gardeners, we have to improve our soil to achieve our goals. Even many “native” plants from the eastern states would struggle to flourish in Western Australia because the soil differs from our distant neighbours.
Also you must consider, that when you move to your new house, the builders have removed a lot of soil and replaced it with their own landfills, which may not be suitable to sustain even the local growing plants. In these cases, a lot of the soil you are left with, lack the micro organisms and bacteria to be considered healthy enough for plants.
Most of our soil in WA is sand that dries out quickly, therefore you must add organic matter such as compost to assist with water and nutrient retention. We usually use bentonite or gypsum products to turn the sand to soil and assist in retention. You must add organic matter after this process or the soil will revert to sand in the near future.
Some more “clay like” soils can be found in the Perth hills and near WA river edges. Places like Toodyay have clay soil that is very difficult to dig, and sticks to your boots when you go out gardening in the rain. Our top soil is mainly composed of ancient rocks that have disintegrated, degenerated and deteriorated over time, mixed with air, water, bacteria and animal matter. WA’s top layer of soil lacks the organic matter and soil microflora required to bolster or preserve the lush, healthy prosperity of the European plants which is the first-choice of most garden landscape enthusiasts. (no offence to our native lovers) . So it’s essential to really respect the top 300mm of soil and this can be the make and break of WA gardens.
Here at Gardens Australia, we continuously add organic matter to all of our ongoing garden maintenance projects. We have also recently teamed up with Perth’s local soil expert : Kier from Craft Compost. He has qualifications that no-one else has obtained, by some of the most renowned soil experts in the world!. The process involves taking a sample of the soil and looking at it underneath the microscope. Call us if you would like a start to finish analysis and fix up of your soil and garden.
So, to summarise things, the easiest way to fix your soil in Perth, is to irrigate, clay it up, and feed it with organic matter like manures and compost.
Please stay tuned for our next blog which will be about which fertilisers are suitable for your plants! and we hope we gave you a couple of useful tips to fix your soil in Perth.