Whether you’re someone who has always loved spending time in the backyard or have just recently picked it up due to the quarantine, your soil is a crucial part of the activities you do in it. If you’re looking to do any sort of planting, then good, healthy soil is an absolute must. Whilst there are soil testing kits and methods you can employ yourself; you can also enlist the help of trained and professional environmental consultants. In today’s blog, we’re going to be taking a look at different ways you can maintain your soil to keep it healthy and strong.
Testing your soil is important as you must first understand what type it is. From this, you’ll be able to determine the pH level of the soil, the organic-matter levels and its balance of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium – which are the three key elements of soil. By testing your soil, you can gauge the fertility and health of it as unhealthy soil could affect future growth. For a full rundown on why the three elements mentioned above are important, you can check out one of our previous blogs on soil testing at home.
Almost any form of organic (and some non-organic) waste can count as compost. Compost can enrich the soil and help it better retain moisture whilst also mitigating plant diseases and pests. On top of this, it also reduces methane emissions as you’re using what would normally be waste, as compost instead. This means it’s not ending up in the landfills. The following items are examples of what can be composted:
- Tea bags;
- Yard and grass trimmings;
- Fruit and vegetables; and
- Coffee grounds.
Make sure your compost pile is equal parts brown and green. Brown materials provide carbon whilst green provide nitrogen. Add water to your pile to break down the organics.
Cultivate the soil
Cultivating soil is the act of breaking up the soil and removing loose weeds. The loosened soil allows for greater penetration of air, water and nutrients. The elements can harden the surface of the soil and turn it crusty – which is why it needs to be cultivated every now and then. By breaking that hard surface the softer soil beneath can have greater access to air – which is an element that micro-organisms that live within the soil need to create nutrients and improve the soil.
In addition, cultivation also exposes weed sprouts which will, in turn, die after being brought to the surface. Water retention is also significantly improved as this method improves moisture penetration. This mitigates the need for additional watering.
Balance your nutrients
At the end of the day, the best way to keep your soil healthy and fertile is to know what it wants. Through the soil test, you’ll be able to ascertain exactly what your soil needs and construct a balanced and nutritional diet for it. Your soil may need any combination or ration of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous. Delivering that right balance is crucial to healthy, thriving and fertile soil – so don’t wait to get your soil tested.
Stay away from crude chemicals
Certain fertilisers and pesticides end up causing more trouble than good when it comes to your garden. They may do well when keeping bugs and pests away, but they could significantly damage your soil and garden. This is why it’s best to stick to natural fertilisers as they will actively improve your soil.
Are you looking for soil testing services?
Whether it’s your backyard, front yard or building site, getting your soil tested is absolutely crucial if you’re planning to do any type of work or gardening on it. As you can see, it’s also quite beneficial in general as it can help you really understand your soil so you can give it what it really needs.
Alpha Environmental is an environmental firm that specialises in soil testing services as well as asbestos, groundwater and mould testing. We also offer all three phases of environmental site assessments and provide swift and professional solutions.
If you’re looking to get your soil tested, then please contact us through our website or give us a call on 1300 039 181.