Soil pH and why it’s important
An important starting point for improving your soils health, is to determine it’s pH. This indicates the soil acidity, or alkalinity on a scale of 1 to 14. Alkaline soils have a pH of higher than 7 and acidic soils a pH of lower than 7 and Perth’s sandy soil, typically ranges from a pH of 4 to 8.5. You can test the pH of your soil either by using a soil pH test kit, which can be purchased at most garden centres, or if you want to get really scientific, you can also take a soil sample to a local laboratory for testing. Once you have determined your soils pH, you can make a start of establishing the optimum pH level for plants, which is generally within the pH range of 5.5 to 7.5. For acidic soils an application of dolomite lime at 100 grams per metre squared, can be used to increase the soil pH by 1 point. Patience is a must for this type of application, as it can take several months to take effect. In alkaline soils, iron sulphate can be applied to decrease the soils pH level (refer to instructions regarding quantities) and is almost instant, in contrast to the dolomite lime application.
Keeping water and nutrients in your sandy soil
Another common issue with sandy soils is water and nutrient retention. Effectively addressing this, will help to increase the overall health of your plants, decrease the amount of watering required and hinder the harmful effects of excessive nutrients leaching into the groundwater system and fragile ecosystems beyond. Organic materials, fine mineral particles and water absorbent gels, are all great ways to combat poor water and nutrient retention. Organic materials including composts, coco peat and broken down animal manure, are all beneficial soil additives. However, when these types of materials become dry, they may also become water repellent. Plant residues, either dry or green, can also be beneficial, but it is vital that these are well composted prior to application, or your plants may be susceptible to disease. Clay, loam and red mud, also known as finer particles, are also great in boosting water and nutrient retention, with the ideal clay content in soil being 5 to 10 percent.
Need Us To Help With Your Garden?
- A huge thank you to the staff at Luke's Landscaping for the wonderful transformation of our front yard. It's gone from a sandpit to a gorgeous green oasis. The team worked so hard over the week to transform our gardens and we are very appreciative of the attention to detail and care they took.Christina and Darren
- I used Luke’s Landscaping to provide an overhaul of my front lawn with the task to reduce the amount of lawn and increase the low maintenance area including a rock feature. Also, they were used to provide a major landscaping overhaul for my Daughter’s back garden including lawns, garden beds and low water usage reticulation. All work was carried out within the agreed time schedule. The staff are very accommodating and pleasant to deal with. The work completed with efficiency, and all aspects were well-coordinated. The materials used were of a good quality that enhances the finished product. My daughter and I are very pleased with results.Warwick
- I could give Luke’s Landscaping a higher recommendation. They handled my front yard from design through to completion and I was so impressed by their work, attention to detail and communication at each step of the process. Such a great experience and I love coming home to my new front yard!Estelle
- I have used Luke’s Landscaping to do a major overhaul to the landscaping at my house and lots of other makeovers at my rental properties in the last three years. The professional service, fantastic results and the quick turnaround has meant that Luke is the first guy I call for my landscaping needs. I have been thrilled with the results and pleased with the attention to detail. I am happy to recommend this business.Paul
- Our terrace house had a sad and seldom used rear courtyard which has absolutely no access other than via our living areas. This we thought would be a show-stopper but Luke’s landscaping had the expertise to take it on and swiftly provided us with a lovely design and costed implementation plan, which has simply transformed this area into a valuable extension of our living space. The construction work was carried out most diligently and despite having to transport removed debris, new limestone blocks and pavers, soil, mulch and many plants (including a very large tree) through our home, the professionalism of the whole process and the final cleanup left no sign of the major operation that had been undertaken, either internally or externally. Luke’s follow up on the project to address a couple of small issues has also been most helpful and certainly won’t hesitate in recommending Luke’s landscaping to others who have admired this transformed area! Thankyou.Catriona
Our front yard in Karrinyup was completely transformed in March 2015. In just one week, the team completed the job of removing what was there, replaced the topsoil, installed the reticulation and mulched with native plants. Four months on we are still so impressed with the job and delighted that we used Luke’s Landscaping. Highly recommended!