So you’ve bought your block of land. Where do you start? Well, plan … I actually start during site analysis. It’s a simple thing. You identify where north is, so where your sun’s going to come across, and make sure that you also do your sun for the summer as well as the winter, because the arc does change quite dramatically.
Also, where your prevailing winds come from. I’m looking around this morning from where I woke up. I thought, “Wow, you guys must get as much wind as we do,” because it just looked like that kind of landscape. Wind, to be honest, is a very destructive force. Not just for your plants or your property, but also for you as the gardener. It can be really hard to get out there in anything 50+ knot winds, and start digging out or grubbing out weeds.
So those kind of things, things like your soil. Doing a soil analysis. You can go and put a bit of the soil and do a couple of tests around your site and sent that into a lab and get a really detailed report, and they can be very useful. But if you’re just like me and you just want to get started, picking up a little bit of dirt, rubbing it through your fingers, making a ball and ribbon test is a great way of starting. It sort of gives you an idea and indicator of what type of soil type you have.
You can dig a hole. That is a soil test. Dig a hole and see what horizons you have in your soil. Dig down as deep as you can get until you get to clay. That way you’ll understand what your roots will be doing as you’re growing your plants. And do it over a large area. Do it over a few areas over your block. Doing one little hole here as you have said, there’s a lot of variation over a farm or over a big area.
So by taking samples, whether that be doing a horizon test, digging holes, or taking little clay samples from areas around your block, and then you can identify where your strengths are. Because plants like different types of soil.
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