Across the nation Australians are wondering how they are going to continue to feed their families healthy meals with our normal 5 and 2.
"I tried growing vegetables during lockdown but got nothing but dead plants and live weeds!"
That is because you didn't prepare the soil.
Soil needs a bit of love too....lots of minerals and in the case of sandy soil, it needs clay to hold on to all the goodies to enable it to feed your plants.
Aussie coastal areas sit on ancient sand dunes. This means much of our soil is made up of sand and that is not great for thriving gardens and lawns. And believe it or not, there are many inland areas which suffer as badly.
The sand is nutrient-poor
The sand doesn't hold water
Waxy coatings from organics make the sand even more water repellent
New plants often die before they establish
It costs hundreds of dollars a year for fertilisers and new plants.
A Worthwhile Investment
There are simple ways to improve or treat sandy soil. There is a solution to this problem.
You already have 85% of the solution!
Scientific trials by University of WA and CSIRO show that a good soil is made up of sand, minerals, silt and at least 5% of Kaolin Clay. Get sufficient high-grade kaolin clay in your sand patch and you'll never need to buy those pesky soil wetting solutions again.
Now You Can Throw Out Your Wetting Agents
Just on soil wetting solutions. These are sold as a surfactant-based wetting agent to temporarily break down the waxy coatings on the sand particles helping water to penetrate. And, if you've been buying wetting agents every year (sometimes every 3 months) then you'll be please to know that you can stop the expenditure after you have mixed Soil Solver’s kaolin-based clay mix into your soil. It will permanently stop the sand from becoming hydrophobic and ensure the soil holds onto the nutrients you have added.
Beware, Not All Clays Are The Same
After years of trials of products and amendments to sand, it is now recognised that Kaolin clay is the only clay that will give you a permanent result of rich loam.
But that permanent result depends on the quality of the kaolin clay and the percentage in the soil – at least 5%.
Too many gardeners have wasted time, money and effort in trying to change their sandy soil into loam without success. One of our clients followed the WA Water Corporation’s ‘advice’ for 10 years adding Bentonite into the soil along with composts and manures. Recently he tried soil Solver’s Clay Plus Minerals… a picture is worth thousand words….
Above we are removing 10 years of sand Here is his good soil after amendment
he treated with Bentonite and manures with Soil Solver's clay and minerals
Standards are important
For Australian Standards, ‘clay’ needs to contain particles of less than 2 microns. This gives the clay the capacity to totally cover the sand particles stopping moisture and humus from running through the sand holding nutrients and moisture available for the plants.
Many manufacturers and landscape suppliers spruik a percentage of ‘kaolin’ clay in their products. If you do a soil test on these products, you will see that the percentage of clay in the product is miniscule and that the ‘clay’ particles are way more than 2 microns. Which means it is not really ‘clay’.
Soil Solver Pty Ltd put a number of products to the test through an independent laboratory and below is the table showing the results.
So, will the clay provide healthy plants?
Clay is all about holding moisture in the sandy soil. Your watering needs could reduce by around 50%.
But clay isn’t naturally full of minerals. Some clays contain a very low amount of very few minerals so they may assist a little, but not enough to provide all the minerals and trace elements that plants need.
O mineral content has been scientifically balanced, so all the minerals work with each other ensuring that one doesn’t interfere with the benefits of another. By adding Soil Solver® y have the sand, which is 100% of the problem, but also 85% of the cure.
Just like our bodies, soil needs minerals to balance the organics (think vitamins and minerals)
Our mineral content has been scientifically balanced, so all the minerals work with each other ensuring that one doesn’t interfere with the benefits of another. By adding Soil Solver® Clay Plus Minerals you will achieve the pH balance of around 7.2 that the majority of plants require.
The soil also needs some organics. But DON’T OVERLOAD the soil with organics.
Organics such as compost will cause that waxy load we spoke about above. A good, matured compost will slowly leach the minerals from the Clay Plus Minerals for plant availability, the minerals will eat up the residue that compost and manures leave and the clay will protect the sand particles and hold all the micro-organisms together for the benefit of the soil and plants.
There is no such thing as a bad gardener....just bad soil
So, now you know how to amend your sandy soil, you can go ahead and put that all important veggie garden in and enjoy healthy, tasty and nutritious food.. saving you bags of money too.