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Getting your Garden Soil Ready with Greenbourne Nursery

Updated: Jun 17, 2022

As the day lengths increase and the temperatures begin to rise, the eagerly awaited season of Spring is right around the corner. We all now begin to plan and contemplate all our warm season nursery purchases, getting ready to fill our garden beds with a plethora of exciting arrivals.

The key is preparation and August is the perfect month for this, especially to get the soil ready.

Garden soil, Gardening, plants.

August is a gift to us

Gardening, soil, plants.

Over the years it is surprising how my acquired knowledge has enlightened me to the real important issues that now give me extra excitement.

As a rookie I put a lot of my excitable energy into the Spring season, it was as if my whole life was dominated by those precious three months.

I have absorbed knowledge from great horticulturalists who have set me on the path of understanding the joys of the science of gardening. Which brings me to the humble month of August. A month which has lived in the shadow of September its whole existence down here in the southern hemisphere…well it did for my early years. I now know better.

August provides us with increasing light levels and rising, yet comfortable temperatures. It is THE perfect time to exert ourselves and physically put time into our soil.

A very quick science lesson about billions of eager helpers

Firstly, never call your garden soil dirt. If you do, you should have to stand in the corner with one of those dunce hats on. Dirt is what you tread through the house and get yelled at for. As soon as you respect and love the soil as much as you respect and love the plants you put into the soil you will be on the path to gardening enlightenment!

A great soil comprises billions and billions of important organisms. Generally, these organisms can be categorised into two groups: the macro and the micro. The macro-organisms are the larger ones like your earthworms, beetles, centipedes and other larger bodied types, roughly categorised by anything over 2mm in size. The micro-organisms are the very tiny, often microscopic single cell organisms that inhabit the soil. These include examples like bacteria, fungi and nematodes, just to name a few. Both macro and micro-organisms are fantastic at transforming organic matter into nutrients that are able to be taken up by the plants that coexist in the soil.

A good combination of macro and micro-organisms is essential as they work together to break down the organic matter. Micro-organisms thrive in situations that are free of toxic chemicals, have plenty of organic material to feed on and have a consistently warm environment with a steady supply of adequate moisture. If you can provide these conditions to your soil you will then be providing regular nutrition to your plants, hence the brilliant phrase


Summary of ingredients available to you

There is an array of quality ingredients that you can obtain from your nursery to aid you to feed your soil. When you purchase good quality ingredients from your nursery from reputed producers you gain the assurance that the products have been produced to strict codes to ensure top quality.

Composted manures:

  • Excellent source of nutrients, minerals and organic matter.

  • Naturally improves plant nutrient uptake and plant growth.

  • Enhances structure of sandy soils & helps break up clay soils.

  • Helps improve soil water holding capacity.

  • Suitable for flowers, vegies, fruit, shrubs & trees.

Garden soil:

  • Promotes plant, flower and vegetable growth.

  • Excellent soil conditioner.

  • Helps retain soil moisture and nutrients to assist in plant growth.

  • Encourages microbial and earthworm activity.

  • Helps break up and aerate heavy clay soils.

  • Helps build up deficient sandy soils.

  • Adds valuable long-life humus to the soil, stimulating greater plant health.

Organic compost:

  • Promotes healthy growth in foliage plants, flowers, vegetables, fruit, shrubs & trees.

  • Excellent soil conditioner.

  • Helps retain soil moisture and nutrients to assist in plant growth.

  • Encourages microbial and earthworm activity.

  • Helps build up deficient, sandy soils.

  • Adds valuable long-life humus to the soil, activating greater plant health.

5 in 1 garden supplement:

  • Promotes strong healthy plant growth.

  • Promotes better flowering.

  • Retains soil moisture, keeping the root system cool, which also saves water and watering time.

  • Reduces temperature fluctuations around the root system, maintaining a healthier environment for plant growth.

  • Adds a long-life humus build up to the soil, encouraging microbial and earthworm activity.

Manure pellets:

  • The soil structure is improved with increased aeration, drainage and improved moisture retention.

  • Soil biology is stimulated, increasing numbers of beneficial microbes and fungi which leads to improved nutrient availability, retention and nutrient uptake by the growing crop.

  • Suitable for the entire garden, for better blooms, lush lawn and bountiful fruit and vegetables. Safe enough to use on natives, shrubs and palms with no fear of burning.

To till or not to till, that is the question

The purpose of tilling is to mix organic matter into your soil, help control weeds, break up crusted soil, or loosen up a small area for planting. Tilling the soil is a very effective method to enhance compacted soils, regenerate old unused garden beds or to create new ones.

However, for existing healthy garden beds recent research has shown that minimal soil disturbance actually is more beneficial than consistently turning over the soil. So, when you add new batches of organic matter to the garden bed it is best to apply them to the top as a humus layer. The only minor bit of manipulation that is recommended is to slightly aerate the soil (through the new humus layer) with a large garden fork.

You see, what our soil scientists have discovered is that the organisms in our soils are much like our human society. There are spoilt lazy ones and efficient, hard- working ones…harsh but true. The lazy ones are quite inefficient in the way they break down organic matter. They are slow to move around the soil and even too weak to survive periods of dormancy when organic material is in low supply.

When we over till the soil we are basically making it too easy for these inefficient organisms to feed and reproduce. Tilling mixes brand new organic material and puts it right in front of them so they are able to feed and overpopulate the soil. Whereas the fit, strong and efficient organisms will move through the soil, looking for new organic material.

By moving and feeding it rapidly populates the soil with strong bacteria through reproduction. It will even feed on decaying ‘unfit’ bacteria and turn them into nutrition for plants. So, the summary here is basically, when preparing a new garden bed where cultivation is required DO IT WELL AND THOROUGH THE FIRST TIME.

After this regularly add organic matter as a humus layer and lightly aerate through with a large garden fork. By doing this you will eventually develop a colony of Olympic grade organisms in your soil.

So, get out there and use these beautiful August days to get your garden beds ready for the oncoming warm season. Pop out to the nursery and grab various ingredients to encourage those precious organisms to thrive in your soil. Hopefully I will spot you working hard, in amongst the billions of others working in your yard!

Thanks for the gardening tip, Greenbourne Nursery!

Greenbourne Nursery, Wauchope Plants & Landscape Supplies

a/ 239 High St, Wauchope NSW 2446

p/ +612 6585 2117


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