As experienced landscapers in Perth, WA, we are familiar with various soil types common in the west. While it might be easy to assume that all Perth soil is sandy, soil type differs across the state, so we thought we’d look in closer detail at common soil types and how to manage them to create a stunning garden.

What is soil?

Typically, the soil has two layers – the topsoil and the subsoil. Topsoil usually contains more humus, roots, animals, air, and nutrients, while the subsoil is often denser and less nutritious. Plant roots absorb the nutrients, air, and water in the two soil types to feed growing leaves and flowers. The combination of the two soil types dictates the soil’s pH – the acidity or alkalinity of the soil.

Soil types

There are six basic types:

  • Loamy
  • Silty
  • Chalky
  • Clay
  • Peaty
  • Sandy

Loamy soil: considered the ultimate soil by many gardeners, loamy soil is dark, crumbly, full of microbial life, and supports most types of plants. It is usually easy to turn over and work.

Silty soil: relatively unusual in WA, silty soil contains particles left behind by rivers or other flowing bodies of water. When wet, silty soil can feel smooth but can solidify when dried. To allow proper drainage, break up silty soil and fortify it by adding grit. 

Chalky soil: often gives gardeners cause for concern as many plants won’t tolerate chalky, flinty soil. Typically, chalky soil is free draining and always alkaline. 

Clay soil: as the name suggests, clay soil is compact and usually drains badly. Mostly found further south in WA. Clay soil can bake hard in summer and become waterlogged in winter. However, it contains plenty of nutrients. You can add grit and compost to clay soil to transform it into a fantastic gardening material.

Peaty soil: relatively rare in WA, peaty soil is often acidic and gets waterlogged in winter. 

Sandy soil: common along the WA coast, sandy soil is the hardest to manage. It drains quickly, washing away many nutrients. You must add lots of organic matter and feed to this sandy soil to encourage good plant growth. 

Choose the right plant for the right soil

The key to ensuring your plants thrive in your garden is choosing the right plants for your soil type. The Looking Good Landscaping team has experience designing gardens suited to Perth’s unique soil type and climate. We know that by planting in the right soil type and being attentive to watering and sun exposure, your new garden additions will thrive. If you’re unsure what type of soil you have in your garden, give us a call.

Ready to make your landscaping design dreams a reality?

Trust the experienced Looking Good Landscaping team. With over 25 years of experience in Perth – specifically in the suburbs of Secret Harbour, Rockingham, and Baldivis, we’ll craft the perfect solution for your gardening or landscaping challenge. 

We’re passionate and dedicated to ensuring every landscaping project is produced to the highest possible standard. Contact us today.

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