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Soil Matters - Invest in your $oil

By Ben Sims
13 June, 2020


Soil quality is an essential element that will help create a beautiful garden that is far more attractive, healthier and less prone to pests and diseases, much more waterwise as the soil will retain water for longer periods and that water is plant available. Quality soil will lower the requirements for nutrients as the soil will retain the nutrients for longer periods so that the plant can take up nutrients as it requires. This is great for the environment as bare sand acts like a sieve and anything you apply will quickly be washed past the root zone and into the ground water or run off into drains which will enter the streams and waterways causing issues like algal blooms and effect water quality. 

Unfortunately, it has been common practice amongst too many landscapers to simply buy a “Landscape mix” and plant straight into that. There isn’t a landscape mix on the market that I would use directly for different reasons and that is why I always improve the soil to tailor each plant using high quality products such as Baileys Soil Matters – kaolin clay, rock minerals and compost and for natives I use Terracottem – hydrogel with nutrients and growth promotors that doesn’t change the soil properties and keeps a sand with more water holding capacity and adequate nutrients that encourage root growth out from the original root ball into the new soil. 

The biggest area that I see where contractors or DIY don’t adequately prepare soils is before laying a new lawn. Lawns use huge volumes of water which adds up to huge environmental and water bills so long term if you adequately improve your lawn soil then you will always see a water and nutrient saving benefit which will pay off in the long term. The good thing about using quality soil concentrates such as Baileys Soil Matters is that you don’t need to take away huge volumes of soil to improve your existing soil. If you are adding 150-200mm of landscape mix you will have to take away many cubic meters of soil which costs thousands or you could invest that money into using high quality products to get a clay content of 5-15% and around 5% organic matter which will give your lawn a massive advantage once the summer heat really arrives. Your lawn will perform very well with less water required to keep it in peak condition. 

For lawn top dressing the best product I have ever used by a long way is Soil Solver compost plus with Nutrarich compost which has rock minerals and a natural source of nitrogen and is fantastic to kick start your lawn after winter. Just a thin layer is all that is required and I apply it after aerating the lawn at about ¼ inch thick and I wash it in so it goes to the base of the leaf blades and into the cores. 

For more in-depth information and to see a great product that I highly recommend please visit the Soil Solver website: