Planting may seem like a simple affair, and it is... but there's a few basics you need to know if you want to transform gutless sand into decent soil which is able to cope with our harsh Perth summers.


Soil conditioner, worm castings or home made compost.

Clay Soil amendment  such as Sand Remedy, Soil Solver or Sand to Soil - these products come in bags and are available at all good garden centres or online. Another fantastic new product is Charlie Charcoal.

The plants we have trialled this on have grown on average 30% more and are virtually disease free. This is not normal horticultural charcoal which is alkaline. This product is slightly acidic which is perfect for our coastal soils.


 Seaweed liquid - ie Eco C Weed, No Frills Seaweed Extract, Seasol etc

 Fertiliser - we like to use No Frills Fertiliser, Seamungus, Grow Safe Home Gardener or Eco Prime Plus. These natural fertilisers contribute to the microbial soil life which helps keep your plant and soil healthy. 

 Mulch - Always use a chunky mulch like coco peat mulch, pinebark, or even better, use recycled street prunings. Ensure the street prunings are not from a tree suffering from dieback or buy composted tree prunings.


1. Soak your plant in a bucket of seaweed solution to prevent transplant shock and encourage root growth, waiting until any air bubbles are gone.

2. Dig a hole 2-3 times as wide as your plant pot and 5cm deeper. Preparing a wide hole is very important as this is where the feeder roots are. Place this dug out soil in a bucket or wheelbarrow. This is your planting mix.

3. Into the planting mix, add 1 part soil conditioner to 3 parts soil. Mix  a handful or two of clay soil amendment, add water and combine until you have a chocolatey loam like soil structure with even water penetration throughout. Add more clay soil amendment if it's still a little non wetting. 

5. Put a handful of this improved soil mix into the hole, then place plant on top. Ensure that the top of your plant is at flush with ground soil level, with no roots exposed.  

6. Backfill with more planting mix in the hole around the plant, gently tamping down soil with fingers, ensuring the soil and root ball of the plant make direct contact. There must be no air pockets. Water again. 

7. Apply fertiliser and water in plant slowly and deeply.

8. Mulch plant away from stem to avoid collar rot. 75mm depth is ideal. Avoid using jungle mulch jarrah/peat blend mulches as their fine particle size makes non wetting soil worse. The peat content tends to actually absorb water so it doesn't go down to plant roots.

9. Well done, all finished - enjoy your plant!


HINT - most hoze nozzle attachments deliver inadequate sized water droplets which encourage shallow watering. Invest in a Dramm watering wand or use your finger on the hose to deliver better water pressure and deeper watering. Funnily enough, in garden centres, the most important job -  watering - is usually given to the most inexperienced person. Most people do not hand water deeply enough. A good practice is to water a plant, then water another one and then return again to water the first plant. 

CALL US NOW for a free chat on how we can transform your garden!

GARDEN DEVA 0423 385 568