Little bit of science...


Date:01 Apr 2024

For the last few years I have been concentrating on soil health. Increasing microbial activity has been the main focus, and watching the fungal activity increase, aswell as the earthworm population explosion proving things are working I still have not done any soil testing.

Having 10 raised beds makes this a bit of a task, taking a soil sample from each and then using a PH neutral water (Bottled spring water measures at 6.99 so is ideal). (Be careful of demineralised or distilled water as if left open it takes on carbon from the atmosphere affecting its ph so be sure to test the water you are using first.) to test the ph and the soil ratios.

I started with orangey red clay and have used organic matter and sand to break it down to useable soil, and all but 1 bed is complete, a little more sand and compost for bed 4 to get the 41% clay down a bit more.

PH is ok from 5.5 to 7.5 and the closer to 6.5 to 6.8 is where the sweet spot is for general gardens, but as tomatoes and peppers like a little more acidic soil I am aiming for 6.3 to 6.6. This allows me a little wiggle room to use sulphur on the powdery mildew next season, along with a dose of gypsum now when I add the leaves and compost to rest over winter.

Bed 1 is the pepper bed and still has some production going and bed has some corn and Kumara in it so they will be tested when done. 

Happy Gardening everyone!


Little bit of science...