Sand and Soil
Soil is the most important part of any landscape. It is what all man-made structures are built on and the medium that nearly all our plants and food grows in. Soil type, depth, structure, pH, nutrient levels and topography have a significant influence on the design of all our landscape and garden areas.
Soil is as diverse as each suburb, region, state and country of the Earths’ surface. It even has its own dedicated science.”Soil science has two main branches of study: Edaphology and Pedology (from Greek: pedon, “soil”; and logos, “study”). Pedology is focused on the formation, morphology, and classification of soils in their natural environment; whereas Edaphology is concerned with the influence of soils on organisms.”
In this post I hope to shed some light on the basic soil structures that you may find in your own backyard on the Central Coast NSW.
Soils are comprised of mineral particles of three primary sizes, these are sand, silt and clay. The soil types can be found on their own, or in a conglomeration such as loam.
Below is a table showing the basic properties of each soil type:
Clay: Clay is made up of super fine particles that clump together readily. Many people portray clay soils as the enemy, as they compact easily, drain poorly and are hard to dig. While in fact they have great benefits in their ability to store moisture and nutrients for plants.
Sand: Sand is quite the opposite of clay, it is comprised of larger coarser minerals, does not compact, and drains extremely well. However, sandy soils are easily leeched of any nutrients and organic matter. The Gosford region is dominated by Hawkesbury Sandstone, these rocky sandstone outcrops of the Central Coast are the parent material that give rise to the sand content of our local soils. The exception being sand along the coastal fringes which is derived from the ocean and sand dunes.
Silt: Silt is the middle offspring of the Earth, with size characteristics and properties lying between sand and clay.
Loam: Loam is a mixture of equal parts sand, silt and clay particles. Variations in the ratios give us sandy loam, silty loam, clay loam, sandy clay loam and silty clay loam. Loams are generally the best type of soil for growing plants as they can have the nutrient and moisture holding ability of clay along with the good draining properties of sand.
Organic matter: Organic matter, humus and living organisms also play an important role in soil structure in terms of determining aeration, water and nutrient flow within the soil. Organic matter provides the energy and nutrients to keep the soil alive, providing food for, bacteria, fungi, plants and animals.
We are lucky that we can create our own environments and use great landscape and garden products to benefit our lives:
Organic Compost: Use this to improve soil structure and nutrients.
Mulch: Protects our soil against erosion and moisture loss.
Soil mixes: Used to create new garden beds for our leisure and pleasure.
If you want to have a beautiful garden, you need to have healthy soil. We are able to offer basic soil analysis and pH test, so we can determine the right product is supplied for your particular garden needs. For more information please contact us by CLICKING HERE or phone us on: 0402418017