we have 7.2 acres waiting to be developed and improved. however its a very sandy soil with many casuarina trees and lots of tall grass.. any suggestions how to improve the soil for planting fruit trees? thanks in advance
When I wwoof'ed on this farm in Kuching on Malaysian Borneo, the soil was basically about 4 inches of 'good stuff' and the rest was barren, a combination of white clay and sand. The farmer still had good trees that bore many varieties of tropical fruits and had a fantastic range of native vegetables.
I was curious because working on the newer area of the farm I encountered just clay/sand. The owner said he buried charcoal (which he used mostly from the fire pit) and bones from whatever lifestock that was processed for food or what ever died, from chickens, ducks to goats and even some farm dogs. He also had huge bins for vermicomposting but this was used for composting but he wanted to use the earthworms to release in the gardens. His logic was that earthworms burrow creating tunnels in the soil bringing in air and natural fertiliser aka earthworm poop.
But he said that all this was not enough and the biggest contributor to a healthy garden was compost which came from the leaves and whatever organic matter. He had planted grass to 'hold the earth together' to avoid soil washing away and to keep the soil cool and moist. The grass was never left to grow more than an estimated 4-5 inches and the cuttings were left on the ground serving as mulch. During the dry hot season the grass was left to grow taller up to 8-10 inches because the longer the cooler it was for the ground and moisture was kept in. During the rainy season the grass was left to grow long too.
I do not know if you can use these ideas for your seaside place but one way also to adopt his method is to use raised beds. In this case he used tyres which he picked up from the dump and filled with planting medium which was a mixture of soil, organic matter, mulch, raw dung which is left to sit for a few weeks before being used as a planting medium. It is a succesful plan because all our vegetables came from the garden.
Joined: Jul 02, 2011
Looks like you are getting on the right track.
Where about is your Farm in Kuching?