Building up sandy soils

Episode: 4
Title: Building up sandy soils
Broadcast: 9 April 2016
Presenter: Trevor Cochrane

Trevor shares a tip that's revolutionizing the way we deal with sandy soils. Sandy soils tend to come in many forms, whether your soil is fine or coarse these tips are for you.

  • All gardeners know the ideal soil to deal with is loam. Loam is a soil that consists of sand, silt- that's fine organic particles well and truly broken down and clay-which is smaller in particle size and negatively charged. This means it grabs and holds onto positively charged elements like sand and nutrients.
  • Other important elements is composted manure, which you should add to your sand after clay has been added, it will absorb and hold nutrients slowly releasing them back to the soil, more importantly to your plants roots. The easiest way to do this is to use Dyanmic Lifter a rich composted chicken manure with added minerals and trace elements that's certified organic.
  • Spread the clay- best to use is Soil Solver a WA based companies Kaolin clay product. It has added rock minerals and silt- apply 5 to 7.5kg per square metre.
  • The dynamic Lifter is then spread thickly over the same area. About 1.5kg per square metre is pretty generous but trust me what we do next is the key.
  • Now get in and cultivate it all thoroughly to a depth of about 100 – 150mm deep and mix it all into the ground thoroughly. 15 minutes gentle cultivation a day is best.
  • Once the clay is thoroughly mixed in, binding the sand particles together, the Dyanmic lifter pellets will once soaked expand and aerate the soil making it soft and easy for new roots to penetrate and grow through.
  • Most importantly it's the nutrient source you needed and it provides an environment that holds moisture longer providing consistent soil moisture levels, these are vitally important if you want to enjoy vegie or seedling gardening success.
  • 80% of your gardens success will be from your soils preparation.
  • Lastly with the clay, if applied in the steps suggested- which you will only ever have to do once as clay doesn’t breakdown and disappear, its there for good, permanently changing your soils structure so a progressive introduction of Kalolin clay is a game changer for home gardeners.