A few things I've learned the last few weeks in the quest to improve our water repellant, sandy soils... organically.
On this occasion it was for prep for planting our lawn. While lawn may seem a watering luxury esp for WA, it is going to be part of the green zone for anti-bushfire measures around our house, and according to the turf people, once established it will barely need watering even in summer... I live in earnest to see this as I don't believe it.
Zeolite: is a rock dust or rock crumble. In a nutshell it's mineral that absorbs, holds and releases the nutrients in the soil rather than have them leach away. So it increases the efficiency of fertilisers.
I've found it in WA at the woodvale fish and lily farm,$16 for 10kgs, and gardeners direct (who are an online store and deliver). We spread 1 kg per 5 square metres for our lawn planting.
If you google it you will also notice it gets used for human (and animal) consumption as it helps detoxification. And in pond filters among many other uses!
Spongolite: is made from pulverised fossilised sea sponges. Improves water retention - acting as a sponge in the soil. Its also permanent and does not needs reapplication like the wettasoils etc do. We spread 3 parts spongolite to one part zeolite.
Shades of green fertiliser (stocktech): An organic fertiliser that includes a bit of zeolite as well as humates.
We had graded off the weeds and pathetic 'topsoil' that we have, and after a shower of rain, there were definite puddles on top of the sand, scrape it back and bone dry 1mm down... After deep ripping, plowing in all of the above plus approximately 30mm deep only of soil conditioner, then whackering it all in to level down, another shower and the water repellancy is banished, hurrah, thouroughly soaking in.
The lady at the fish and lily farm was very suprised anyone had heard of using zeolite and spongolite in their gardens, but she said she swears by it and had used it throughout the shop's gardens and her own.
I wait in earnest to see how it goes! I'll be adding all of the above to my garden beds next time I turn them over.
Two roads diverged in a wood and I -
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.
~ Robert Frost