Great Gardens Planting in Sand Soil (GG004)



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Great Gardens - Planting in Sand Soil (GG004)




Planting trees and shrubs on....SANDY SOIL









Site Characteristics-Sands are hot and dry in summer, moist but not waterlogged in winter. Sands are often water repellent with low fertility. Sands can range from white, grey through to yellow and brown in colour. Weed growth is usually poor to medium and they are easy to work.

Ground Preparation The planting holes should be dug to at least 50cm depth to combat any subsurface compaction. The planting holes should be backfilled with 'Sand Remedy' (bentonite clay, zeolite and gypsum mixture available through The Swan Garden Centre or The Fremantle Community Garden Centre). This should be complimented with 1-2 of shovelfuls of compost, plus broad spectrum slow release fertiliser such as Osmocoate, Dynamic Lifter or a specially formulated 'tree




tablet'.. The planting holes should be excavated to create shallow planting basins -10-15cm deep and 50-80cm wide. This will help collect and direct water towards the new plant. Ideally the site should be free of weeds or thick matted vegetation prior

Weed Control: will be essential especially where weeds such as Couch, Kikuyu or Rye Grass are present. Ideally begin weed control in spring, in the year prior to work, as well as in the lead up to planting. Expect to have to do follow up weed control during the growing season.

Going organic: Organic weed control will rely on scalping back weeds from planting areas by hand or, on a larger scale, with a bobcat. Follow up hand weeding will be vital. In the lead up to planting you can smother the weed area with thick heavy black plastic or wool carpet using the suns heat to kill weeds through a process called solarisation, or you can scalp away about 1m2 of weeds around each planting site. Follow up hand weeding will be needed to ensure revegetation success especially when couch is involved!

Planting: it is essential that planting is done ASAP after the first rains, eg late March or April. Make sure that at least 2-5cm of soil covers the top of the 'root ball' to prevent drying out. 'Firm in' soil down around to the plant roots to remove air pockets, sprinkle a good handful of organic fertiliser on top of the plant along with a heavy covering of mulch available through www.mulchnet.com

Natural Vegetation Type: Sands were typically covered in Jarrah, Marri and or Tuart forest in the better soils. Banksia woodland dominated on the very poor sands.

By the Way....Water repellency can be a big problem in sandy soils, hampering water absorption and hence plant growth and survival. Wetting agents applied, mixed and watered in around the base of the plants will help. For lawns and garden beds these should be applied 2-3 times in a year (Late spring, mid summer and autumn) for trees and shrubs a once application when planting should suffice.

Sandy Soil: Thirty Tried and Tested Species......
All plants chosen here are attractive, hardy and tolerant of drought conditions. More details on their uses and growth characteristics can be gained from good nursery catalogues.


Local Natives
Large Trees (Greater than 15m) for large blocks


wCorymbia calophylla - Marri
w Eucalyptus gomphocephala - Tuart
Eucalyptus marginata - Jarrah

Small to Medium Trees (5-15m) for large blocks

Allocasuarina fraseriana - Common Sheoak
Banksia attenuata - Candlestick Banksia
Banksia menziesii - Firewood Banksia
Eucalyptus todiana - Pricklebark

Tall Shrubs (3-5m) for large blocks

w Acacia cyclops - Red eyed Wattle
w Acacia saligna - Golden - Wreath Wattle
Hakea prostrata - Harsh Hakea
w Jacksonia sternbergia - Green stinkwood
w Kunzea ericifolia - Spearwood

Medium to large Shrubs (1-3m)

Acacia pulchella - Prickly Moses
Adenathos cunninghamii - Woollybush
Brachysema lanceolatum - Red Pea Flower
w Calothamnus quadrifidus - One sided Bottlebrush
Calothamnus sanguineus
Eromophila glabra
Eromophila nivea - Spring Mist
Eromophila maculata
Geraldton Waxes - many variaties
Hibbertia cuneiformis - Yellow Buttercups
Melaleuca acerosa - Coast Honey Myrtle
Ricinocarpus sp - Wedding Bush
Thryptomene saxicola

Low Shrubs (less than 1m)

Acacia lasiocarpa - Dune Moses
Adenthanos cuneata - Basket Flower
Beaufortia sp - Basket Flower
Bossiea eriocarpa - Common Brown Pea
Correa pulchella - Pink Mist
w Eremaea pauciflora - Orange Eremaea
Eriostemon spicatus - Pepper and Salt
Gompholobium Tomentosum - Hairy Yellow Pea
Grevillea crithmifolia - White Grevillea
w Hypocalymma robustum - Pink Myrtle

Leucophyta brownii - Cushionbush


Melaleuca conothamoides
Olearia axillaris - Little Smokey
Thryptomene baeckeacea
Thryptomene denticulata
Verticordia nitens - Morrison
Westringia sp - Native Rosemary

Ground Covers

Adenanthos meisneri - Green Carpet
Banksia petiolaris - Creeping Banksia
Banksia repens
Calothamnus - Emerald Carpet
Correa reflexa nummulariflora
Dryandra nivea - Couch Honey Pot
Erompohila sp - Kalbarri Carpet
Grevillea - Ella Bella
Grevillea Obtusifolia - Gin Gin Gem
Grevillea - Sea Spray Gilt Dragon
Grevillea saccata
Grevillea thelemaniana - Walkway
Hemiandra pungens - Snakebush
Kennedia prostrata - Running Postman
Kunzea pomifera
Myoporum parvifolium - Prostrate Boobialla
Westringia - White Rambler


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