We live on an island with limited soil resources. Typically, soils on the Peninsula are; low in Nitrogen, high in Phosphorus and average to below average in Potassium, slightly acidic and clay based.
Our indigenous soil requires help to bring it up to a level that most ornamental plants need for optimum growth. In order to achieve a soil that will promote plant growth it is necessary to 'create' soils.
Typically a soil is manufactured using a recipe of available products in ratios that will create a suitable soil product. A soil recipe will include but is not limited to the following:
- Indigenous soil
- Compost organic matter
- Organic fill
The ratios of these ingredients will vary based on expertise, soil analysis and use of the final product.
As previously stated, adjustments must be made for the three major elements (NPK) to create soil that is suitable for ornamental plants. Share with your soil supplier what the purpose of your soil is. They will be able to suggest a suitable fertilizer to augment the soil for that particular use. Soil recipes can be adjusted for the following;
- Acidity (PH)
- Nutrient content
When purchasing soils it is recommended that the consumer physically check the structure of the soil to be purchased. Grab a handful, smell the soil, feel the soil and look at the various components. Soils should be neutral, slightly organic smelling, don't clump when squeezed by hand and don't contain vast amounts of un-composted product or alien debris (plastic, asphalt, concrete...)
The consumer should see how the soils are stored:
- Are they under shelter? Rains will leach nutrients
- Are weed seeds likely to blow in and become a potential problem?
- Are they easily contaminated by other products?
We hope that this article helps in your decision making process when purchasing soils and trying to navigate all the different products on the market.