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Understanding Soils: A quick journey below the surface

Category: General News | Published on 29-January-2021 10:57:19

Let our horticulturalist Nathan Straume take you on a journey below the surface to discover and explain the World of Soil and learn the key acronyms you need to know.

Anyone who comes in contact with soil, sooner or later hears about soil pH. pH is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a soil. But do you know why it is important and how it affects nutrient uptake? Plants grow best in a pH range of 5,5 to 8. “It’s no secret that plants love this range, and we have to correct soil pH to ensure healthy plant growth. If the soil is too acidic, we can add lime, if it’s too alkaline, we can add sulphur”, says Nathan. Finding out your soils pH only requires a simple test. It only takes 3 minutes and works with a Soil pH testing kit.

Soil pH Test Kit

Never underestimate the importance of pH

Have you ever heard of Electrical conductivity (EC)?

EC is the most common method of measuring salt levels and the waters ability to conduct electricity. Pure water does not conduct electricity, but most water, even tap water, has enough dissolved salts to be conductive. Did you know that salinity affects plant health and that you can ensure your plants grow healthily with TerraCottem Soil Conditioner?

Find out how salinity impacts your plants growth.

Plant nutrients in the soil

NPK relates to the percentage of Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K) in a soil, soil amendment or fertilizer. These are the macro nutrients that plants need to grow best.
• Nitrogen is essential for leaf production and colour (Chlorophyll). Nitrogen Fertiliser can be Blood and Bone (around 4%) or Urea (47%)
• Phosphorus enhances root production. Most soils in Australia lack phosphorous, so any additional phosphorus we give our native plants can become toxic. Be sure you know the amount is satisfactory for the plant you are putting in. Phosphorous Fertiliser can be Fish Bone Meal (15%) or Rock Phosphate (33%) / Super Phosphate (20%).
• Potassium is essential for Flower and Fruit production. Potassium Fertlisers can be Muriate of Potash (50%) / Sulfate of Potash (41%)

Want to find out more? Watch our FREE video and explore the depths of soil!


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