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Will i fix hydrophobic dead soil by mixing 100mm of organic compost into soil?

Soil is quite silty like fine powder

Plenty of trees/plants growing in the same soil

Submitted: 07:59PM, 19 Apr 2019
Answer: Hi Dave,

Thank you for contacting Yates.

Sorry no, using compost alone will not fix a water repellent (also known as hydrophobic) soil.

To test for water repellent soils: water the soil near the plant for 5-10 minutes, then, near the plant dig a hole to a depth of 20cm. If the water has not penetrated the soil and the soil is still dry underneath, then the soil will need to be treated with a wetting agent. We recommend applying ‘Yates Waterwise Granular Soil Wetter’ to help break down the waxy material that coats the soil particles, to assist with reducing water repellent soils.

To improve soils we recommend applying 5-10cm thick of compost, sprinkle ‘Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver and Plant Fertiliser’ as a complete, soil-conditioning fertiliser, then dig both into the soil. After planting, top off with a 5-8cm layer of mulch .

To prevent water repellent soils from reoccurring, regularly use organic material, don’t allow the soil to dry out too much in between waterings and add a yearly treatment of the wetting agent. This will not only help to reduce maintenance and long term water use, but will make plants healthier, more resilient to pests/diseases and will provide you with much nicer looking plants.

Hope this helps.
Joyful gardening!
Kind regards,

Yates Horticulturist

Answered: 05:18PM, 20 Apr 2019


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