How to improve the quality of your soil

The secret to planting success is in the soil.

Autumn is here and one of the best times for planting. After a long hot summer packed with extremes, this season provides welcome relief for gardeners of all skill levels.

Angie Thomas, Horticulture Consultant to Yates is frequently asked what her top tip is for planting success. Her response is “the secret is in the soil”.

New research of 1,000 Aussies nationwide showed just 17 per cent believe soil is most important to maintaining a garden.

“Soil is the engine room of your garden. Improving the health of your soil is a key step in having a healthy, productive garden,” commented Thomas.

Angie’s soil secrets: 

Splurge as much as possible

A great rule of thumb when it comes to potting mix is it’s worth spending a bit more.

Ditch the cheap bags of potting mix for the best quality you can afford. The investment will be worth it when you see your plants flourish. 

Use organic mulches 

Mulch helps reduce moisture loss from soil, protects the soil from exposure to the elements and reduces weed growth.

Organic mulches like sugar cane, lucerne, pea straw, leaf litter and wood chips provide all these benefits in addition to breaking down over time and adding beneficial organic matter to the soil.

Encourage earthworms 

Earthworms help break down organic matter into nutrients and minerals that plants can use. The organic matter they recycle is a great source of food for your plants and a natural fertiliser in the garden. 

Earthworms also move around creating tunnels and aerating the soil, making it easier for plant roots to grow and access water. 

Make your own compost

Compost is a fantastic soil improver, and it’s easy to make your own. I tell people it’s a little like making a lasagne! By layering different organic materials and then ‘baking’ (or composting in this case), you’ll be making your own organic soil improver and plant fertiliser.

Use organic soil improvers and plant fertilisers

Organic soil improvers, such as Yates Dynamic Lifter contain organic matter, and when used regularly will help raise the organic matter content of the soil, which improves soil health and brings your soil to life.

Organic soil improvers and plant fertilisers also help improve the moisture and nutrient holding capacity of sandy soil and the drainage of heavy clay soil. 

For more information click here.

Related stories