Soils are vital to the health of your garden as they are where plants receive all their nutrients, without healthy soil plants cannot grow to their full glory. The perfect soil is extremely difficult to achieve, therefore to mitigate the costly process of replacing all of your soil with new soil, choosing plants that will thrive in your current soil is highly recommended. 

Examples of bad soil

  • Highly compacted (most of which can be countered cost effectively with good design and knowlege)
  • Lacks nutrients
  • Drains poorly

Determining the quality of your soil, generally requires a soil test. However, your knowledge of where people and vehicles travel (helps to determine compacted areas), where water pools and where plants struggle to grow can be very useful. Just be aware that planting a plant in poor soil will gerenally just inhibit the growth of the plant. 

 For more information have a look at the following:

  • http://garden.lovetoknow.com/wiki/Why_is_Soil_So_Important
  • The two papers on LMS (Bassuk, Smith and May)
  • Handreck, K. – Gardening Down Under. CSIRO
  • Handreck, K. and Black, N. – Growing Media for Ornamental Plants and Turf. UNSW Press
  • Ashman, M. and Puri, G. – Essential Soil Science. Blackwell (LMS)
  • Bassuk, N. and Day, S. in Calkins, M. The Sustainable Sites Handbook. Wiley (eBook)
  • Leake, S. and Haege, E. Soils for Landscape Development, CSIRO (eBook)