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Soil Reconditioning

18 years ago

You may be interested in the following article that I wrote recently.

After a number of years you may find that your plants are not responding to fertiliser as they should be, or simply not looking their best. Some soils will compact after a few years and others will loose their nutrients due to leaching or the use of water from a deep bore. There are a number of soil conditioners on the market, and we have tested two of them.

The first one is "Garden Mate", made by Earth Life in Toowoomba. It is a dry powder that is spread over the garden. Results with this product were very good, but as it is very heavy the freight cost to north Queensland is extremely high. We simply could not afford to use it.

We then looked for a locally available product and really hit the jackpot. A company on the Sunshine Coast called Nutri-Tech Solutions Pty Ltd produces a number of organic based products and a couple of them are suitable for native plants ( This company has an outlet in Tolga (Quantum Ag Solutions) where the products are sold at a very reasonable price.

We had a discussion with one of their salesmen and he recommended two products:

1. Huma-Tech Liquid Humus (humic acid) which is a fertiliser stabiliser/magnifier, plant growth stimulant, soil life activator and soil conditioner.

2. Gyp-Life which is micronised natural gypsum combined in a free-flowing suspension with fulvic acid and soil-life metabolites.

As both these products are liquid they can be applied through an irrigation system during watering. This makes their application simple, and is far better than broadcasting a powder.

The results of using these two products can only be described as spectacular. We applied both at the rate of 10 litres per hectare in two applications about a month apart and the change in the plants was quite dramatic. No fertiliser at all was applied but the plants produced a huge amount of new growth, and turned dark green. Especially noticeable were understorey plants that had not grown for several years due to the root competition and soil compaction. These burst into new growth, and many flowered.

The Gyp-Life is of particular use to us as our bore water is high in soda which results in a build up of sodium in the soil.

Beware of many of the Nutri-tech products as they are for agricultural crops and contain large amounts of phosphorus.

For a small garden you can buy a "Fertigator" device from a hardware shop that plugs onto a hose and sucks the mixed liquid from a bucket. These products are easy to apply as you are applying a rate per hectare (which can easily be calculated down to a rate per 100 square metres), not a rate per litre of water which requires expensive equipment. One hectare is 10,000 square metres so 10 litres (10,000 ml) makes it one ml per square metre. So for an area 10 m x 10 m (100 square metres) you would use 100 millilitres.

So don't despair if your garden has lost its glow,...

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