SOIL IMPROVERS & COMPOSTS

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Enriched Compost

ENRICHED COMPOST

A dark composted blend of aged bark fines, blood and bone, cow manure, sawdust and aged bagasse to organically enrich your soil. When incorporated with poorly structured clay soils it adds vital nutrients, encourages earthworm activity and stimulates plant growth by improving drainage, aeration and soil water retention. It is pH neutral and has a low nitrogen draw down index. It can be added to existing garden beds to fertilise, dug into clay to improve its structure or blended into sandy loam to add body. 

Cow Manure Screened

COW MANURE - SCREENED

Animal manure is high in nutrients and adds organic matter to the soil. Cow manure decays more slowly than horse or poultry manure as it has a lower nitrogen release rate. Consequently it provides a source of nutrition for longer. Cow manure can be placed on the garden surface or dug lightly into the top 10 to 20 mm of topsoil. It is a finely screened product and as it is sourced from feedlots, weed seeds are not a problem.

Mushroom Compost

MUSHROOM COMPOST

Mushroom compost is a fine textured mulch that is an effective source of natural compost for conditioning your soil. It usually consists of straw, chicken manure, gypsum, urea and molasses. It is ideal for applying as the bottom layer for carbon rich mulches such as woodchip or straw. You can choose to spread the compost on the soil surface, or incorporate it into the top 100 to 300 mm of the soil. It is important to initially water the area applied well as mushroom compost stores up to 70% of its own weight in water. It's terrific around all plant except camellias, rhododendrons and other plants that like acidic conditions, as it is a little alkaline.

Gypsum

GYPSUM

Gypsum is a fine crystalline mineral (crushed rock) that greatly improves the structure of clay soil by causing the clay particles to coagulate. This thereby facilitates drainage and movement of air through the soil. Gypsum has little effect on soil pH however it may make an alkaline soil slightly more acidic. Apply to the surface of the soil (or gently fork into the soil) approximately 1 litre (1 kg) per square metre. It is a particularly effective way to correct calcium deficiency in alkaline soil and helps to neutralize excessive soil sodium and magnesium. 

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INFORMATION GUIDE

Knowing your soil is critical! Some soils are better for growing plants than others. The condition of the soil is crucial to plant and other organic life obtaining the maximum benefit from the soil.

TOOWOOMBA SOIL 

The majority of Toowoomba is located on a deep, acid to neutral (6.0 to 7.0 pH) structured red to red/brown clay. Many garden plants do not have a high tolerance to clay soils. The particles of clay are so fine that the roots of plants cannot penetrate the spaces between them. There is little aeration in the soil and thus little oxygen for plant roots and soil-dwelling animals such as earthworms. Fewer animals mean less soil turnover and poorer oxygenation that exacerbates the problem.

Although clay soils tend to be high in nutrients, plants can’t always access these nutrients. At different pH levels, the elements in your soil will form different chemical compounds. Some of these compounds will dissolve in water (soluble). Nutrients must dissolve in water to be accessible to plants. Therefore the pH of the soil must be adjusted for certain compounds to become soluble. The most essential nutrients form soluble compounds when the pH is around 6.5 to 7.0 and therefore this is the most desirable level of pH for most plant life. 

It is possible to treat soils (even Toowoomba clay soils) and improve the soil quality thus freeing up nutrients for plants, by adding soil improvers and/or composts regularly to the soil.