Real World Gardener Sour Soil and What to Plant in Design Elements

March 12th, 2016

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network.

The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition.


This garden series with Garden Designer Peter Nixon, is all about garden challenges thrown at us mostly by nature but also due to a situation in your garden that you might need to fix.

Today’s garden challenge is for those gardeners that are gardening on alluvial or riparian soil.

Alocasia brisbaniensis

That’s soil that’s a big boggy and occasionally gets inundated with water or even might get flooded.

The soil is without much structure and sometimes when you dig into it, it has a sour smell.

If that’ sounds like your type of garden then listen to what you can do to help your soil and your plants to grow better.

Let’s find out… I'm talking with Peter Nixon, garden designer

The soil develops that sour smell if it's anaerobic, meaning there's no oxygen in the soil.

You can help by incorporating lots of organic matter.

Find yourself a good local source of organic material to


Ornamental Banana - Ensete ventricosum

improve that soil surface.

Even if you build raised beds that are 30cm high, unless they’re shallow rooted, your plants will eventually have to deal with that not so good soil.

If you want to select plants to suit these growing conditions, planting clump forming bamboo, anything from the Aroid family-Calocasia, Alocasia brisbaneiensis, the Taro group and Musa species or banana plants are suitable to grow in this soil.

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