Part 2 of our horror story where Mr & Mrs Newhomeowner eventually learn why Soils ain't Soils. Mr & Mrs Newhomeowner also develop a great appreciation for the years of dedicated research and sound knowledge that soil-scientists and horticultural specialists accrue throughout their professional careers.
Mr & Mrs Newhomeowner have a good look around at the landscape supply centre. They ask the staff lots of questions about the soil products and mixes but in the end conclude that they will not have enough time in their busy schedule to do it all themselves. So Mr Newhomeowner, an engineer by profession and who did an excellent job as site manger for the home construction, decides he will project-manage the landscape works. He enlists the aid of a local landscape gardener for the job and continues to study the landscape plan.
The landscape plans say to do a pH test of the soil so with testing kit in-hand Mr & Mrs Newhomeowner pick a few random samples and conclude that with an average pH of 8.6 some amendments need to be made. The local garden centre advises them to increase the acidity of a soil they'll need sulphate of iron, or sulphate of ammonia to lower the pH levels and yes they would be happy to deliver their plants. Equipped with a can of surveyors paint, Mr & Mrs Newhomeowner spent the rest of their weekend meticulously marking out the garden bed areas around the house.
Monday morning the landscape gardener arrives with two assistants. They get to work on forming up and constructing the garden edges. They construct a practical, yet attractive concrete curb coloured with oxide and they do a beautiful job.
Wednesday morning and the landscape gardener with two assistants arrive shortly before the delivery of a few bags of sulphate of iron, a couple of small packets of sulphate of ammonia and 4 cubic metres of that "really nice" dark looking garden mix. The mix is spread out in the garden bed areas and the sulphate of iron and sulphate of ammonia are mixed thoroughly through the garden mix.
The next day the plants that were listed on the landscape plan's plant register arrive and are duly planted out in their set locations. That afternoon the mulch comes and is spread out. Friday arrives and so too does the turf mix and a truck load of beautiful rolls of the finest quality turf. The turf mix is spread, rolled and levelled and the turf is laid with expert care.
Now all that remains for Mr & Mrs Newhomeowner to do is to follow the watering regimen to establish their garden. And of course sit back to admire their beautiful new paradise. But a few weeks later they notice insects on some of the plants, a few leaves turning yellow and the lawn that was as flat as a billiard table is now all lumpy and a bit brownish looking...
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At the end of this chapter the Agro-professionals and Horticulturist readers will be crying tears of anguish. What will Mr & Mrs Newhomeowner do next?
Stay tuned for the next chapter of:
Nightmare on New Homeowner's St or Soils ain't Soils