Soil management and improvement – step 1

The soil around here presents a number of problems. It’s an acidic red clay that needs plenty of lime to promote healthy pasture. The clay soil absorbs rain fall slowly and given that we have hardly any flat areas, water run-off and subsequent soil erosion is an issue. The best solution is to promote the growth of a healthy and vigorous pasture. This will provide feed for the alpacas and conserve the landscape.

Soil plugs for testing
Soil plugs for testing

The majority of our pasture has only been established in the last few years after clearance of the forest. It is a “work in progress”. Step 1, for me, is to get the soil tested to see how much lime I will have to spread this spring. So out I went, taking plugs from various parts of the pasture. The local agricultural college runs a test lab. I’ve told them what I want to grow and they will come back to me with their recommendations in a few days. This is going to be an interesting project.

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