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Brisbane Organic Growers
Brisbane Organic Growers

Brisbane Organic Growers - Description

Healthy soil strong plants healthy people Soil T ypes around Brisbane wwwasriscsiroau Brisbane has four main soil types dark alluvial soils deep red loamy soils gravelly red and yellow loamy top soils over clay ID: 229849 Download Presentation


organic soil plants soils soil organic soils plants nutrients nitrogen test good matter rock park healthy layer clay plant minerals red loamy

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Brisbane Organic Growers

Healthy soil, strong plants, healthy peopleSlide2
Soil Types around Brisbane

Brisbane has four main soil types:


alluvial soils

deep red loamy soils

gravelly red and yellow loamy top soils over clayshallow gravelly soilsSlide4


Dark alluvial soils

Bald Hills, Brookfield, Eagle Farm, Fig Tree Pocket, Hamilton and Hendra


Dark alluvial soils

Bulimba, Fairfield, Hawthorne, Jindalee, Runcorn, Tennyson


Deep red loamy soilsBoondall, Bracken Ridge, Bridgeman Downs, Carseldine, Clayfield, Moggill, NudgeeSouthsideDeep red loamy soilsChelmer, Corinda, Eight Mile Plains, Graceville, Kuraby, Lota, Macgregor, Manly, Manly West, Oxley, Robertson, Rochedale, Sherwood Sunnybank, Sunnybank Hills, WynnumNorthsideGravelly red and yellow loamy top soils over clayAlderley, Anstead, Aspley, Auchenflower, Banks Creek, Banyo, Bardon, Bellbowrie, Brighton, Chapel Hill, Chermside, Deagon, England Creek, Enoggera, Enoggera Reserve, Everton Park, Ferny Grove, Fitzgibbon, Gaythorne, Geebung, Gordon Park, Grange, Grovely, Herston, Indooroopilly, Karana Downs, Kedron, Kelvin Grove, Kenmore, Kenmore Hills, Keperra, Kholo, Lake Manchester, McDowall, Milton, Mitchelton, Mt Crosby, Newmarket, Northgate, Nudgee Beach, Nundah, Paddington, Pinjarra Hills, Pinkenba, Pullenvale, Red Hill, Sandgate, Shorncliffe, Spring Hill, St Lucia, Stafford, Stafford Heights, Taigum, Taringa, Toowong, Upper Brookfield, Upper Kedron, Virginia, Wavell Heights, Wilston, Wooloowin, ZillmereSouthsideGravelly red and yellow loamy top soils over clayAcacia Ridge, Algester, Annerley, Archerfield, Balmoral, Belmont, Berrinba, Burbank, Calamvale, Carindale, Chandler, Coopers Plains, Coorparoo, Darra, Doolandella, Drewvale, Durack, East Brisbane, Ellen Grove, Forest Lake, Greenslopes, Gumdale, Heathwood, Hemmant, Highgate Hill, Holland Park, Holland Park West, Inala, Jamboree Heights, Karawatha, Larapinta, Lytton, Mackenzie, Mansfield, Middle Park, Moorooka, Morningside, Mt Gravatt East, Mt Ommaney, Murarrie, Norman Park, Pallara, Parkinson, Ransome, Richlands, Riverhills, Rocklea, Salisbury, Seventeen Mile Rocks, Sinnamon Park, South Brisbane, Stretton, Sumner, Tarragindi, Tingalpa, Upper Mt Gravatt, Wacol, Wakerley, West End, Westlake, Willawong, Wishart, Woolloongabba, Wynnum West, Yeerongpilly and YerongaNorthsideShallow gravelly soilsAlbion, Ascot, Ashgrove, Bowen Hills, Chermside West, Fortitude Valley, Lutwyche, Mt Coot-tha, New Farm, Newstead, The Gap, WindsorSouthsideShallow gravelly soilsCamp Hill, Cannon Hill, Carina, Carina Heights, Dutton Park, Kangaroo Point, Mt Gravatt, Nathan and Seven Hills

Types of soilSlide6
Soil profiles explained


Organic matter

: Litter layer of plant residues


Surface soil/Top Soil

: Layer of mineral soil with most organic matter accumulation and soil life.


Subsoil: This layer accumulates iron, clay, aluminium and organic compounds, a process referred to as illuviation.C) Parent rock: Layer of large unbroken rocks. This layer may accumulate the more soluble compounds .R) Bedrock: R horizons denote the layer of partially weathered bedrock at the base of the soil profile. Unlike the above layers, R horizons largely comprise continuous masses (as opposed to boulders) of hard rock that cannot be excavated by hand. Soils formed in situ will exhibit strong similarities to this bedrock layer.Slide7
How to self-test your soil




The Squeeze Test-take a handful of moist soil, squeeze and open your hand Holds, but crumble with a light poke, yippee - you have

luxurious loam

Holds, but sits in a lump when poked, you have a

clay soil

Falls apart when you open your hand, you have a sandy soilSlide8
How to self-test your soil


The Percolation Test- to test your drainage

Dig a hole 30x30x30cmFill with water a allow to drain completelyFill the hole again with waterKeep track of how long to drain

> 4hrs = poor drainageSlide9
How to self-test your soil

#3 The Worm Test

Dig a hole 30x30x30

Place the soil on cardboardSift through and count the worms

> 10 worms = pretty good + heaps of microbes and bacteriaLess worms = not enough organic matter and/or pH is too high or lowSlide10
How to self-test your soil

#4 pH Test

Pick up a pH test kit from your garden centre

Do the simple test from various areas in the garden

pH 6-7.5 neutral, suits most plants, maximise nutrient availabilitypH < 5 acidic, most plants will not grow well and limited nutrient availabilitypH > 8 alkaline, most plants will not grow well and limited nutrient availabilitySlide11
Why is pH important?Slide12
Where did it all go wrong?

Natural recycling

of nutrients in the topsoil –

(rainforest)Farmers and gardeners had always worked on these principles

Justus von Liebig -19th century- NH3

Led to chemical fertilisers-NPK

Later developed Law of Minimum – all nutrients and minerals need to be present


companies made NPK-how they changed their habits, easy to useSlide13
A Soil Comparison

Healthy Soil

In balance - nutrients

Earthy sweet smell

Full of earthwormsFull of mineralsGood


Dig with your hands

Plenty of organic matter

Healthy pHBiologically active ‘Dead’ SoilOveruse of chemicalsDepleted in organic matterSandy soils dry and lifelessClay soils like rockNo earthwormsDig with a mattock-if your luckyOften acidicBiologically deadSlide14
If a good soil could be achieved by buying bags from the garden centre, we would all have great soils Sample

The basis for a healthy soil is organic matter and

the recycling

nutrients and mineralsMore about this laterSlide15
The Good and The Bad News

You can have a healthy soil

Good news - no matter what type of soil you have, you can make good soil

Bad news – may need a little know how, some work and patienceSlide16
Making Good from Bad, B

etter from Good

Whether your soil is clayey, sandy, loamy, low in nutrients, compacted or has poor drainage:

Add organic matter

Add organic matterAdding organic matter is the best way to improve your soil

Never throw away anything organic againSlide17
Think of your soil as a living organism

Feed your soil, if your soil is healthy and in balance your plants will love you for it


yourself, will this be good or bad for my soil

Think about the Soil Food Web"The soil is like a farmer's bank. You've got to keep making deposits into it all the time. If you withdraw from it until it's empty, you'll be out of business." Slide18
How to feed your soil

Feed your soil

Organic matter


Organic Matter



Soil structure

Layers of Carbon(C)Hay, leaves, grass, weeds, cardboard, paper, straw, pruning's etc. – NEVER throw out anything organic Layers of Nitrogen(N)Manures, blood & bone, comfrey, seaweed, legumes, organic fertiliser, kitchen scraps (poor chooks)

Layers of Minerals

Lime, dolomite, rock dust, soil and mature compostSlide20
Compost continued

Sheet compost

For larger gardens

Same layered ingredients directly on the garden beds to form thick mulch layer

Place vegie scraps under mulch onto soil – earthworms will go crazySimilar to no dig gardenRepeat annuallySlide21
Compost continued

Green Manure

Plant seeds and when fully grown either turn in to the soil or cut down as a mulch layer

Or let the chooks in!

Nitrogen fixing plantsLupins, lucerne, fenugreek,Sorghum, wild bird mix


Weeds (pre seed)Slide22

Rock dusts

Natural soil


Ca, Mg, P, S, K, Fe, Zn, Cu, Mn, Mo, CLime, dolomite, natural gypsum, basalt, granite, rock phosphate

Work best the finer they are

by increasing surface area

Minerals released slowly by weatheringSped up by organic (humic) acids and soil microrganisms (malic and acetic acids)Slide23
Minerals continued

These weak acids release the constituent elements from rock dust into a usable soluble form

These elements are attached to soil colloids such as humus and clay and accessed by the plant through positive ion

exchange with H+

Work best when incorporated into compostOr incorporate into soil with the addition of compostSlide24
Minerals continued

Natural Gypsum

Often referred to as a clay breaker, much more in the way of soil conditioner.

Links on the website

37 advantages

5 key

benfits include: soluble source of Ca & S, improves acid soils, improves soil structure, increased water infiltration, increases stability of organic matter(sandy soil), helps earthwormsSlide25

Looking at commercial fertilisers one might think the only nutrients are:

Nitrogen(N), phosphorus(P) and potassium(K)

These primary nutrients are important, but unless we have a balance of all minor nutrients, trace elements, carbon and other minerals, our soil cannot be balanced and provide optimum growth

The availability of the most abundant nutrient in the soil is only as good as the availability of the least abundant nutrient in the soil“WEAKEST LINK IN A CHAIN”Slide26
Nutrients continuedSlide27
Adding nutrients

Well prepared composts will replenish humus, minerals and nutrients and build a soil food web

The organisms involved in the soil food web release nutrients to the soil and roots

Use balanced organic fertilisers (like Organic Xtra) as they contain a full range of nutrients and are teeming with beneficial microbes. Slide28
Nitrogen (N)

Nitrogen is largely responsible for

healthy leaf and stem

growth, required

to make protein in plants and is associated with chlorophyll. Nitrate nitrogen (NO



is the most readily available form of

nitrogen utilised by plants. It is also easily leached out of soils.Ammonia nitrogen (NH4) can be taken up by plants directly, but since it is rapidly oxidized by bacteria to the nitrate form (the nitrification process), it is usually in this nitrate form that it is taken up by plants. Ammonia nitrogen does not leach from soils.Urea nitrogen (CH4N2O) has to be converted to ammonia nitrogen (and on the nitrate nitrogen) by bacterial activity before it can be utilised by the plant. There can be some losses in this process, e.g. volatilisation Nitrite nitrogen (NO2) is toxic to plants. This is not normally a problem because nitrite is quickly converted to nitrate by bacteria. Slide29
Phosphorus (P)


is very important for root growth.

It also is crucial for producing

flowers and in the early stages of a plants life as it develops roots and shootsPhosphorus is often present in soils in an insoluble, unavailable form. Many factors including temperature and pH affect the availability of phosphorus to the plant.Slide30
Potassium (K



is needed for overall plant health

. It keeps the plants growing and aids their immune systems.Whilst nitrogen promotes soft lush growth, potassium balances this effect to produce firm compact growth.


two elements are needed in similar levels of


Essential for the water regulation within the plant (turgor pressure) as well as the movement of carbohydrates and the creation of cellulose (Cell structure). Sufficient potassium is essential for flowering and assists with creating sweet, firm fruit and helps ensure plants have a good shelf life. Potassium is soluble in soils but moves relatively slowlySlide31
By Tony de VereSlide32

Composted organic

matter, or

humus, will help give your soil structure. It helps sandy soil by retaining water

and it corrects clay soil by making it looser. In all soils, it encourages beneficial microbial activity and it provides some nutritional benefits. Humus is natures way of feeding the circle of life.Adding organic matter will help replenish or "feed the soil".



, made from plant, animal or mineral sources, release their nutrients slowly, which means that plants can feed as they need to and there is no sudden change in the makeup of the soil which might harm the microbial activity

.Adding rock dusts to create mineral rich soils and plantsBy making healthy soil a focus at the start of making a garden, you will have a head start on creating a sustainable organic garden.Slide33

Thank you

Shom More....
By: pasty-toler
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