The importance of good soil preparation

The importance of good soil preparation prior to planting is clearly evident in these series of photos from George in Queensland.  You may remember that we featured George’s fantastic cordylines last year.

George wanted a very low maintenance garden on the western side of his townhouse. It is a hot spot in summer, and the only plants that have ever survived with little maintenance have been bougainvilleas and natives. As the garden bed is situated next to a brick fence and close to the water, it’s a real double whammy of difficulty. The plants need to contend with heat reflection from the fence and sun reflection from the water.

George began this project in mid-October, and the first step was to clear the area. It was covered in 19 years of thick, deep ‘arm size’ roots and weeds as well as old broken pots and bits of irrigation. “But unfortunately, no treasures,” laughed George. After 3 days of constant work the job was completed and George was able to dig the trenches and lay irrigation.

Half a metre of organic soil was then delivered and dug through the remaining soil in the bed.  George then incorporated a 15kg bag of Seamungus and a 20kg bag of Rooster Booster, both dug through to 70cm.  “The neighbours thought I was going bananas when I stood out and watered that bed every day for half an hour” laughed George, “but I wanted all of that goodness well and truly broken down, and I wanted to give the beneficial bacteria a chance to start doing their job.”

By November, it was time for the fun part – planting.  “I started with foxtails and Alocasia macrorrhiza – the beautiful elephants ears; followed by heliconias, Costus speciosus variegata; cordylines and bromeliads” said George. “My routine is to always give the garden a really good watering of an evening. The next day I apply my brew of 60ml of GOGO Juice mixed with 40ml of Seamungus and drench the area again.  I believe that thoroughly wetting the soil is the best way to help the good bugs in GOGO Juice to do their job. That is all this garden bed has had, but for me, it’s my go to for soil preparation and I think the results speak for themselves.”

George’s story really reflects the benefits of doing a job well. If you’ve selected the right plant for the right position and not taken any shortcuts on soil preparation, then you can expect to get the same great results as George. “It’s fair to say the photos speak for themselves – I was really was hoping the Alocasia Elephant Ears hadn’t grown so quickly…maybe I added too much Neutrog goodness haha” concluded George.

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