Aug 27, 2010 4:18 pm
I'm a new member but like others, long-time reader and lover of Homeone. Live in Sydney and built a new home and moved in last Dec. Got all my tips for creating the garden successfully from this site. We ran out of time to get the turf down though before the cool nights arrived so we're planning to get it down in Sept and starting the soil prep next week. We've got around 200 m2 to lay so a big job for us. To start with I've ordered 6m2 certified organic compost/soil conditioner called "Re-Carb Essence" from ANL but now I'm not sure that I've ordered the most suitable product. The girl there said it will eventually decompose and that I'll be left with hollows and also it will have lumpy bits so I'll have to pick those out WT! That is why they recommend turf underlay or 80/20 sand/soil mix. We're on sand as in eastern suburbs so I thought if we mixed this all in with the cultivator we would be ok (didn't want more sand) but now having second thoughts. They have so many products to choose from that not sure what is the most suitable keeping in mind Fu's guidelines which I'd like to follow. I will order some more once hubby has dispersed the first load as can't get too much delivered at once as no space so would like to know whether I should also get some of the turf underlay as suggested. Their website has a lot to choose from. They have landscape soil mixes as well as compost / soil conditioners. I thought I understood it all but now I'm confused. So very different when it comes your turn to actually start doing the job. Thanks in advance for suggestions.
Re: Which certified organic mix to choose2
Aug 27, 2010 5:10 pm
Stick with what you have ordered No point buying some sand to add to the sand you have Even in which case this business of high percentages of sand is not a good one and something that is changing rapidly. WA holds some excellent examples of just how sand can impact on the environment when used with turf. Yeah the soil drains well however that also means the nutrients do as well. Many of these practices started in a time when water was used at will and fertiliser use was less. Then when water became less frequent we get a lot of lawns going brown and many jump to fertiliser as an alternative to water to make lawn green. This has lead to some terrible problems in Perth and SW estuaries. With such high volumes of sand we consume a very large chunk of the nations fertiliser supply!
If you can water till the cows come home and have a fat wallet for the foreseeable future of your lawns life, then sand is fine. However who can afford that?
I have seen one of this countries best experts on turf change his outlook on using high sand percentages and high nitrogen macro fertilisers to one of accepting the benefits of organic content and studies done by some of WA's best Uni's are showing this is the case as well.
Lumps in the soil? So what That means it is friable soil Lovely stuff. When you do a few laps with the compactor they will flatten out just fine Get some zeolite in there as well and bentonite clay. You will get that from an agricultural supplier.
Yes it will decompose. This is why I suggest top dressing each year or two with organic soils. Do this when all your neighbours are going nuts with weed sprays and fertiliser. You will be miles ahead instead Every year or two do that.
The process of decomposing organic matter is also why I say use non composted or raw mulches like straws and shredded tree mulch (hopefully you get a batch with loads of leaf in it ) This decomposes at the soil level to create new soil which in turn replaces what the microbes consume. The microbes then convert that into nutrients that are very available to the plants and so it goes round On the lawn areas, get rid of the catcher and let the clipping compost back into the soil. I bet people will say don't do that too When you feed the microbes in the soil instead of an entire maintenance plan revolving around feeding the lawn itself, you won't have issue with thatch and instead provide the microbes with a food source to consume and therefore return exactly what your lawn looks for in the way of nutrients and at rates they and the environment can handle. Also what is pretty much used by the lawn is returned to the lawn
Australians as a whole are some of the worst in the world for creating new soils and understanding the concept. We are so bad at it that some scientists say we have 5-10 years of usable soil left in Australia. Argue the time frame maybe ,but they are right that it will run out if farmers and domestic gardeners don't change what we do
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