It is a case of short term loss, long term gain. The saving of what is the result of the test, against not knowing what to apply. Tests can be performed on crops, turf, gardens, new areas and old areas and in the form of soil, tissue and water samples. Every sample is different in its makeup; hence, the results are always different, needing a different conclusion from even neighbouring areas.
Testing will give you the facts of what is happening. It will identify the nutrients that are needed and can monitor the health of the soil or plant. It supports you in making decisions about the fertiliser rate, timing and correct products to use. It also reduces the risk of something going wrong.
Not testing, you are guessing. Full tests of soil, tissue and water, will show YOU what is going on.
Soil test Reports enable you to plan ahead, program events and improve the health of what you are looking after. Councils can then book in renovations, maintenance and improve the quality of new and existing plants. For landscapers, it is a way of helping the client know what soil, water or conditions they are working with. From Mandurah in the south to Yanchep in the north, all the new estates that are so different in the soil and climatic conditions can benefit from soil tests. They are all trying to achieve the one result. Do it once…………….DO IT RIGHT!
When planning a project – testing takes 2-3 weeks. Tests need to be carried out before hand and then approved for use in that situation.
In choosing a fertiliser, it is important to read the packet/bottle labelling to see if all 13 nutrients are included or just one or two. Blood and bone, for example has only nitrogen and phosphorus, so is said to be incomplete.
A complete organic fertiliser contains all the nutrients, including trace elements such as boron, calcium, zinc, molybdenum, sulphur etc.
When selecting the right fertiliser, you should look at the NPK Rating, which is shown on the front and back of the packaging.
Different elements are added for different varieties of plants, for example:
N – Nitrogen helps plant foliage to grow strong and is needed in all plant parts that are actively growing, such as young leaves and flowers, fruits and root tips and lawns and leafy vegetables. High nitrogen will give your plants a quick boost and have them looking green.
P – Phosphorous helps roots, and flowers grow and develop. Most fertilisers in Western Australia have a low phosphorus rating to protect our waterways. Phosphorous is usually deficient in soils.
K – Potassium (potash) is important for overall plant health. By adding potash to your flowering and fruiting plants, it will give them a great colourful bloom and provide great tasting fruit. By applying a high potassium fertiliser, it will improve disease resistance.
S – Sulphur is required for all proteins within plants and can also be used to improve and increase the acidity of alkaline soils.
When dealing with soils and soil products it is important to know about Australian Standards. Australian Standards Certification gives you the assurance of quality. Products certified under Australian Standards have been independently tested and proven to deliver the results the product claims.
There are several standards:
– AS 3743-2003 for potting mixes and garden soils;
– AS 4454-2012 for composts, soil conditioners and mulches;
– AS 4419-2003 soils for landscaping and garden use;
– AS 6000-2016 Organic and biodynamic products and certified organic products
Richgro manufactures all its products to Australian Standards and has certification on a number of those. Products are monitored consistently by its on-site laboratory which has years of knowledge, expertise and is monitored by annual checks from government sources within the industry. The Laboratory also supplies testing services to all your requirements.