How The Native Soils Of Western Australia Can Influence Landscape Designs

Whenever a landscape design company in Western Australia is tasked with creating a new landscaped garden or upgrading an existing garden, there will undoubtedly be several factors that they must take into consideration. One of the most important of these will be the location of the garden, and the fact that, if it is in Western Australia, the landscape design must take account of the local soil types and composition.

The soil types in Western Australia will obviously differ from those in other Australian states. It therefore follows that, if a client requests specific types of plants, flowers, bushes, shrubs, or trees, the landscape designers from Garden Spec must consider if the local soil where that garden is located will be conducive to those requests.

It might well be the case that the soil type in the town or city within Western Australia where the client lives will not be helpful in a specific plant thriving, or worst of all, make it highly unlikely that a particular plant could even be grown there.  This brings into focus the fact that native solid types in Western Australia will influence landscape designs here in lots of ways. As for some of the specifics relating to individual local soils, here are some you should be aware of.

Soils 101

Most soils tend to have two distinct layers, namely the subsoil and the topsoil respectively. The subsoil is the denser of the two layers, and it tends to not have as many nutrients as the topsoil. That is why you will find the more nutritious top soil is where most roots of plants will be found. The topsoil will also contain air, moisture, and living organisms, some of which you can see, such as worms, and others that are microscopic.

One very important aspect of soil is its pH level which measures the proportion of negatively to positively charged hydrogen ions existing within the soil. The measurement helps to identify the soil’s acidity or alkaline levels, both of which impact the nutritional level of the soil. In Western Australia, and especially around the Perth area, soils closer to the coast tend to be more alkaline, whereas those in the hills tend to be more acidic.

Soil Types Found Within Western Australia

Sandy: As you would expect, this is found mainly along Western Australian coastal areas and unfortunately it is not a soil that supports low-maintenance gardening. Sandy soil has fast drainage meaning much moisture is lost easily, along with crucial nutrients. This means additional nutrients, especially organic ones, are needed to support plant growth within landscaped gardens with sandy soil.

Clay: From a soil with fast drainage we now come to one which drains poorly. Clay soil is mostly native to the southern areas of Western Australia where it bakes solid in hot summers and potentially floods in wet winters. On the plus side, clay soils are rich in nutrients and their structure can be improved with the addition of sand, gypsum, and organic matter such as compost.

Silty: Although less common, some homeowners in Western Australia will have silty soil and it requires special consideration. It tends to contain particles from rivers and streams and is especially poor at drainage in summer when it may solidify. As such, grit is often added to break it up for drainage purposes.

Peaty: This is the rarest of all soils in Western Australia and thankfully so. Not only does it have a high acidic pH level which is never ideal for growing plants, but it is also another soil that can become waterlogged following a rainstorm.

Loamy: We have kept the best until last as this is the soil that many landscape designers would cite as their favourite. It is extremely rich in nutrients and is therefore suitable for almost all plant types. Its consistency also makes it easy to work with when landscapers are constructing gardens in Western Australia.