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In this section I hope to explain about soils and how to prepare them for cultivation.

Well first what type of soil have you got? Because different soil has to be treated differently!

1] Black Basalt, very dark black heavy soil, hard to dig in dry weather, greasy slop in wet weather. Don't condem this soil! It is full of minerals, particuarly the acidic minerals. If you've mapped out your area and it's on this clay don't panic!, use gypsum not lime. Try to get some wood shavings or alike, spread the gypsum and shavings over the area to be cultivated, then leave for a few months to weather(if no rain, dampen down with hose). By all means add some manure, get the worms to work!

2] Other clay soils, use the same principle as black basalt, however use some animal manure. One year later try a thin layer of compost, straw(pea or bean-fantastic), a sprinkle of gypsum. This clay should now be workable and should be be starting to look like soil. Next year, try a thin layer of woodcip/shavings,This is to build-up the lignin content,making the soil like a crumble texture.

3] Red clay/loam, the red clay has a lot of iron, copper & manganese(giving the colour red), this soil will become workable easier, maybe less gypsum will be needed. After every growing season add compost and some straw.At the third season, add a thin layer of woodchip/shavings, as per above.

4] Sandy/Loam, with a good amount of organic matter, this soil become easy to dig and turn-over, a good sprinkle of gypum will really bring this soil alive. At the end of the growing season one, good feed of compost, straw & woodchip or alike.

5] Sandy soil - shoreline country; this soil just needs heaps of organic matter to hold it together, but also bulkier material like bark, woodchip, bean straw. Make your compost a little more roughage and using a lot of brassica waste with a good sprinkle of gypsum - not lime! To keep the salt level down. We must be aiming for a p.H of 6.5. This sandy soil should be becoming very workable!      Arrow



 If you are going to do container organic growing, you may have to blend your soil to suit application, you won't want a hard brick in your wall-planter or the moisture pouring straight through either. For the big tubs, you may have to make a blend of compost, some crushed basalt soil and sharp sand. Preferably Crushed Quartz > it will serve for better drainage & yet hold moisture.

 Once you have the above soils to a workable condition, you can start adding organic fertiliser, I would suggest pellets; 2 brands come to mind > Dynamic Lifter or Terra Firma-Organic Life, these are very good quality fertiliser pellets.

When preparing your garden beds for vegetables you should add organic fertiliser at the rate of 5 litres per square metre. Turn this fertiliser in with your garden fork. Once you have made your soil as nourishing for plants as possible and chosen the plants you want to grow it is time to prepare your garden beds and dig your seed or plant furrows or as drills.

Seeds need to be sown in soil that is firm not hard. Prepare the beds during fine weather so the soil will be dry and crumbly. Fork the bed all over for about three inches in depth (75mm) and break up any solid lumps, use your rake(iron-head) end on to tamp down, may be repeat with the fork.

When preparing your soil for planting or sowing the required depth of your furrow depth will be dictated by the size of your seeds and the texture of your soil.

Small seeds need shallow furrows and seeds should be sown closer to the surface in heavy soil. If need be use some screened compost over the soil. In average soil, a furrow of about half an inch (12mm) depth will suit lettuce, parsley and carrot seeds. A depth of around one inch (25mm) will suit spinach, beetroot and turnips whilst beans and peas require three inch (76mm) deep furrows. Again if need, use screened compost to fill the furrows.

Most packets of seeds do however provide instructions on how to sow the seeds they contain so follow those directions. If you are using a seed drill behind a small tractor, you could follow-up spreading the compost with a broardcaster.

                                    Grow Plants, they recycle Carbon into Oxygen

Special Organic Soils & Mowing Service Contact Details

Offering a Mowing Service, Compost, Bulbs and Wall Hangers.

For Enquiries:
Contact Laurie Scott at;

Special Organic Soils

118 Heath Lane
Clarkefield, (AKA Clarkfield)
Victoria 3430
(03) 5428 5404

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