Written with Canberra's unique climate in mind the Grow your own planner guides you through designing, creating and maintaining your edible garden. With simple DIY information and monthly tasks it...
Five minute fix – Soil
With all this rain it’s hard to imagine your garden could be suffering from water repellency but in visiting my customers’ homes I’ve found plenty of examples of less than impressive soils. This Autumn is shaping up to be a fantastic growing season so if you have 5 minutes and are keen to get your garden growing try this little experiment.
Dig a spade into your soil after 10mm of rain or your normal watering and check to see how deep the water has penetrated.
Ideally you would find the soil moist to the depth of your spade. If the soil is dry, apply a little water to the soil and watch what happens. If the water droplets bead or run past the soil without wetting it you may want to apply a wetting agent to the soil to help the water penetrate. A liquid wetting agent is great to use where you don’t want to dig or where the soil is oily in texture as it works almost like a dishwashing detergent (but a lot gentler on your soils). A granular wetting agent is ideal if you are happy to dig – look for brands that advertise the addition of organic matter and gypsum or add a little cow manure while you’re at it.
Repeat the exercise in any areas where you are impatient to get good growth or are unhappy with the health of the plants then make sure you are watering deeply and only when the soil is dry. Your garden will reward you well come Autumn.