What is Soil Conditioner?
A soil conditioner is a substance that can be added to soil to change the soil properties.
In today’s “fast green” world we see an overabundance of fertilisers and heavy focus on the chemical inputs but we often ignore the other two categories of soil amendments. Soil conditioners repair damaged soil and help maintain the soil quality for plant life. Over time soil will become compacted. Fortunately soil conditioners help to loosen this soil as well as replenish and maintain nutrients in order for the plants to flourish. For the best result it is important to mix the soil and the soil conditioner before planting, although some soil conditioners do work better when placed on top of the soil after planting the crop.
Vickery Bros. can source and supply agricultural lime, naturally mined gypsum and dolomite.
Applying lime will correct soil acidity but also:
Reduce aluminium and other metal toxicities
Stimulate microbial activity
Increase the availability of several nutrients
There are many sources of agricultural lime and all vary in their ability to change pH and the speed at which this happens. Dolomite is different from lime in that as well as containing calcium it also contains magnesium. Typically, dolomite contains around 12% magnesium and is suited to acidic soils where magnesium is low. Before purchasing any lime or dolomite, talk to Vickery Bros. for more information on neutralising value, particle size and calcium content.
Gypsum has no effect on pH and cannot be used as a substitute for lime. Applying gypsum will improve the structure of sodic (ie. clay) soils and also:
Supply calcium to the soil
Is an effective source of sulphur
Helps with the exchange of calcium for sodium in affected soils
Naturally occurring gypsum is found in arid inland areas of Australia. Vickery Bros. has analysis test results on all of the gypsums mined in Victoria and South Australia and can advise which source is best for your farm.
For more information contact our agronomy team on (03) 5575 2777.