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Improving soil to suit both natives and vegies

RosieW
Established Contributor

Improving soil to suit both natives and vegies

I live in Sth East of Melb with 2 totally different types of seriously terrible water-repellent soil! 2/3 is dense wet heavy black clay, 1/3 is sandy soil. I hope to apply the same solution to both soils by digging in lots of pea straw, compost and cow manure to the garden beds. Although I know this would be ok for vegies, is it suitable for Aust natives? I heard that Aust Natives don't like fertiliser. Anything I should be careful of here?

Branchy249
Junior Contributor

Re: Improving soil to suit both natives and vegies

Hi Rosie,

 

You are certainly on the right way to increasing your soil quality by adding lots of organic matter (compost, pea straw and cow manure). To assist with the breakdown of clay you can also apply some gypsum. 

 

Australian Natives do like fertiliser and need to be fertilised like any other plants - but they like specific fertiliser that contains a lower level of Phosphorous. 

 

Generally ensure that your compost and manure is well composted and broken down. Some manures are quite strong at the start and can burn your plants but if well composted and broken down you should be ok.

 

Hope this helps!

greygardener
Super Contributor

Re: Improving soil to suit both natives and vegies

Great advice! Good luck @RosieW.

Community Manager Jason
Community Manager

Re: Improving soil to suit both natives and vegies

Hi @RosieW,

 

Been out in the garden lately? I'm keen to hear if you've made any progress with improving your soil following @Branchy249's excellent advice. 

 

I recently spread a lot of gypsum in our backyard to help breakdown the clay after our backyard was turned upside down during building works. We also got some beautiful topsoil in. Next step is to get some mulch before the weeds arrive! 

 

Jason

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Janina_G
Established Contributor

Re: Improving soil to suit both natives and vegies

@Jason    What is gypsum???  I have it on my walls, and I guess you are not talking about walls????

 

I killed a native with seaseol from Bunnings.... said it had no whateve  no code starting or having a P,  and it is dead dead dead.... so had to buy a new one.....

 

I am lazy most times,   I just dig in my excess bins people give me with bottom out and layer with paper leaves grass and vegie scraps.   When I am totally lazy... I just blend the scraps mix with water and throw over garden....  probably not good for native,  but they are on other side of driveway,  with all the  rocks, crushed concret,  leaves, grass  and some ornaments

 

Have to post a pic of what I am doing.

Community Manager Jason
Community Manager

Re: Improving soil to suit both natives and vegies

Yes @Janina_G, the same white-grey mineral used to make plaster is also a clay-breaker that can help improve heavy soils. You can buy it in bags as a powder to spread around or (less commonly) a spray-on concentrated liquid.

 

Jason 

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Janina_G
Established Contributor

Re: Improving soil to suit both natives and vegies

Does it also make a glue/paste to adhere Gyprok Aquachek to walls??? or is that rendering... I know I have a bag in kitchen which I am stepping over till bathroom finished.... better be before I go nutz  

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