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Plants are like humans, they need good living conditions to survive.

They need oxygen, food, water and a good home to grow and flourish.

By preparing your soil before planting you can help to ensure your plant’s have all the right conditions to prosper.

Follow our 4 easy steps to soil preparation for a Successful Spring Garden

Plenty of Oxygen in your soil is your first key.

Like plants and humans, soil also need four basic requirement to keep it healthy and full of all those good things. – air, food. water and shelter.

Air or oxygen is important to plant’s root, as they need it to absorb water and nutrients. If oxygen is lacking, then the plant’s roots can’t develop and the plant struggles. The amount of oxygen within the soil will affect how deep the plant’s roots will go down.

A well-drained sandy soil will have deeper roots than a poor, heavy clay. Deep watering, less often helps air move around the soil, than shallow, more frequent watering. As the water goes down it forces the air out of the soil and as it drains away it allows oxygen back in.

Removing weeds and digging the soil to a spade’s depth also helps to aerate the soil, letting oxygen into the soil as it opens up previous closed air pockets.

Autumn Soil TLC tips

A healthy, nutrient enrich soil is the second key.

A healthy, nutrient enriched soil is the second key to successful spring planting for a bumper crop or blooming garden. Adding well rotted compost and manure to the soil will improve its quality and get those worms and microbes working. Bagged compost and manure can be brought from your local hardware or garden centre, or you can make your own compost by installing a compost bin.

Dig the well rotted compost, manure or organic by following the directions on the back of the bag, generally into the 30-50cm of top soil and mix in well with the existing soil. If you have silty or compacted soil try not to walk on it after apply the compost or manure.

If you want an easy no dig option to improve your soil, apply Seasol Liquid Compost. It’s a dynamic soil conditioner, soil improver and soil health treatment in one.

Add 50mL of Seasol Liquid Compost concentrate to 9 litres of water and apply to soil every 3 to 6 months. If you have poor soil, apply 100mL Seasol Liquid Compost concentrate to 9 litres of water every two weeks until soil improves. If you want an easier and simply way to apply it,  use the pre-mixed 2 litre hose-on pack.

Well drained soil and watering is the third key.

For poor draining soils, consider raised garden beds or vegie plot.

Like humans all plants and soil organisms need the right amount of water. Too much water can flood the soil and drown the roots of plants. Too little water can dry the soil out and stress plants.

Sandy soils are known to lose water and nutrient through leaching, whereas silt or clay soil get waterlogged as the soil is heavy and compacted and the water can’t move down into the soil. Adding well-rotted manure and compost in keys 2 and 3 will help this.

When watering plants, check that the water is going down into the soil. If the water is pooling on the top of the soil or running off, then the soil is known as hydrophobic. Applying a soil wetter such as Seasol Super Soil Wetter & Conditioner will help to overcome this.

It’s a long lasting, aquatic safe wetting agent boosted with Seasol and humic soil conditioners. Apply 50mL of  Seasol Super Soil Wetter concentrate to 9 litres of water and apply to soil every 3 to 6 months. If you have poor soil, apply 100mL Seasol Super Soil Wetter  concentrate to 9 litres of water every two weeks until soil improves. For an easy option, try the hose-on pack.

Adding mulch to the soil is the fourth key

Plants need a good home to flourish and the soil can be considered the base of the home. Applying mulch to the soil, keeps it warm in winter and cool in summer. It also stops weeds from growing and stops water evaporation

There are many different types of mulch and situations to use it, in the end it will come down to personal choice. For a vegie plot, fruit trees, roses and cottage plants try using organic mulch such as pea straw or sugar cane mulch. These types of mulches break down slowly, enriching the soil with organic matter. For natives and other types of plants, try pine bark mulches.