Australian Plants for Adelaide Gardens - Site Preparation
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Plants grow best when free from competition. Thus efforts should be made to eradicate weeds before planting, which is easier than afterwards.
Use of a non residual weedicide such as Round-Up may be the best method of clearing the site of the existing weeds.
In open areas a deep cultivation before planting will assist in plant growth. This is particularly worthwhile if planning a wooded area where the tree and shrubs can all be planted at the same time. This treatment also helps retain moisture.
If planting new plants into a well-grown garden, clear around the immediate area and dig deeply to temporarily remove root competition and give the new plant a good start.
When preparing the planting hole where limestone is present ensure that the limestone is broken up using a crowbar to allow for root penetration. Similarly for heavy clay soils break up the soil to a depth of at least 400mm and thoroughly mix with 50% coarse sand to a depth of 300mm. Do not fill plant holes in heavy clay with free draining friable soil as the surrounding clay will retain moisture and drown the plant. It is better to mix a coarse sand with the clay in which the plant is to be planted in a much larger and deeper hole to assist clay breakdown and drainage.
As there are a wide range of native plants tolerant to many different soils, it is suggested, however, that in most instances, the new gardener does not change the soil condition.