Planning is the key to a successful garden.
Getting the infrastructure right is the most critical first stage!
That means ensuring that the soil is the best it can be. Your existing soil is very likely to be lacking in nutrients and therefore not the best for the ultimate and most productive plant life.
Wet & Forget's Solutions will improve soil quality for your garden, pots or planter boxes.
But the BEST SOLUTION is at the end of this blog!
pH levels in the soil can be rebalanced by good quality compost which will have a twofold effect of providing nutrition and will improve water retention but this is not as common on properties these days
WORMS: Nature's Original Gardeners
- Are one of nature’s original guardians. By loosening of the soil, worms help to increase the amount of oxygen and water that gets into the soil for the seeds and roots of plants and allows carbon dioxide to leave the soil. Earthworms act like tiny ploughs!
- They breakdown organic matter (like leaves and grass) for the plants to use.
- When they eat, they leave behind castings that are a very valuable type of nutrient rich, fertilizer (especially the essential phosphorous, calcium, nitrogen and magnesium.)
- Worms add beneficial microbes in the castings, providing plants with a strong defense against diseases.
FUN WORM FACTS
- There are 6000 species worldwide!
- Their skin exudes a lubricating fluid that makes moving through underground burrows easier & it keeps their skin moist.
- Worms are 90% water (humans are about 70%)
- Worms are older than dinosaurs. (been around for over 600 million yrs)
- A worm colony can double its population every 60-90 days.
- Charles Darwin, more than 100 yrs ago, spent 39 yrs studying earthworms.
- Gippsland Giant Earthworm from Australia is one of the largest in the world, averaging 1m- 3m long and 2cm in diameter.
- Average lifespan of a worm is about 1-2 yrs but they can live up to 8yrs.
- Worms digest half of their body weight on an average day.
- Worms have 5 hearts located close to the head.
- In one acre of land, there could be a million earthworms.
- If cut off, worms can grow a new tail but not a new head.
Mulches such as pea straw or Lucerne hay help the soil to breathe and are a great source of nutrition as well as a protector of the soil from harsh sun conditions.
- pH TEST:
This is a last resort and is similar to a blood test for plants, but could validate the reason as to why your plants don’t grow. Soil which is too acidic or too alkaline hinders plant growth. We always aim for slightly acidic to pH neutral so adjustment may be needed.
Soil pH Affects Nutrient Availability
- The pH of soil determines the availability of nutrients for the plants. A neutral pH from 6.2 - 7.3 is normally the most favourable for plant growth and development because the majority of the nutrients are available within this range.
- It is important to find out what the pH requirements are for particular plants. Some plants prefer a more acidic soil, and others prefer a more alkaline soil.
- Using sulphur and lime are shock methods for consistent issues but constant composting is still a better solution.
Simple Ideas to Add to the Mix
Egg Shells are a great fertiliser and rich in calcium. They are a great deterrent for slugs and snails as the sharp edges inhibit their progress
Store small gardening tools in sieved sand or builders sand
Keep soil inside your pots by inserting coffee filters
Coffee grounds act as a fertiliser, adding organic material to the soil. This improves drainage, water retention and aeration to the soil.