The right soil is more than just dirt! Plants need to grow in the right balance of soil ingredients in order to thrive. Soil is composed of five main elements: organic matter, minerals that are essential to plant growth, water, air, and organisms from worms down to tiny microbes. Veggie soil must be Ph-balanced, loose enough to let the roots shoot through and full of nutrients to nourish your veggies.
If your soil has too much or too little of these elements, it will not be suitable for a garden bed. Soil with a high clay content, for example, has very small particles, often lacks enough air for plant roots, and drains poorly. Sandy soil, on the other hand, has few nutrients and drains too well for many plants, allowing water to leach away. If you bring in a sample of your soil, we can assess its acidity and see whether it would be beneficial to add ingredients to optimize the mix for your plants.
Some gardens, especially vegetable gardens, may benefit from mushroom mulch, which is an acidic compost containing decomposed cow manure and other organic matter. Our organic aged compost is aged for 6 months and is very well broken down – so you don’t need to wait for it to cool down before planting. It is produced on local farms in the Geelong region, and can provide a well-balanced nutrient burst for your garden. We also stock bagged cow manure and Organix Xtra, which some of our customers swear makes their garden lush. Lime, mushroom mulch and sulphur can be used to balance the PH levels.
We also custom mix our own soil blends to get the best out of your garden. Some plants, such as natives, prefer a poorer, sandier type of soil, so we mix up a special blend of loam to optimize native gardens. We do a Vegetable garden mix with organic aged compost, mushroom mulch and propagating sand, and we also do another garden blend more suited to shrubs and ornamental plants. We can sell it by the bag or by the cubic metre – with local delivery only $20 (and you might be able to fit some mulch or driveway gravel on the same truck). Loam and sand have their uses, for filling in holes or laying turf, but are not recommended for garden soil as they lack enough nutrients.
Potting mix is different from topsoil because it will not compact as much as topsoil but it will also break down more quickly, so requires renourishment every year. We stock a range of potting mixes and can also make up a bulk potting mix.
Whichever type of soil you choose, roll up your sleeves and prepare for planting season!