Get your bulk soil, sand and mulch at Flower Power
Got a big garden project in mind? We have a huge range of sand, soil, gravel, garden mix, garden pebbles, mulch and firewood to help you with anything from major landscaping to garden upgrades. Plus, with everything available in bulk, you’re sure to find great savings on everything you need.
Getting it all home is easy too. Drive through our landscape area any day of the week and fill up your truck or trailer with whatever you need. You can also take advantage of our free trailer hire available for if you’re a Garden Lovers Club member. Or let us bring it to you with delivery available in the Sydney metro area seven days a week.
Do plants grow better in sand or soil?
It depends on the plants! Some plants, such as succulents, love sandy soils for their drainage, while other plants need loamy or clay-heavy soil to retain moisture for longer. If you have particularly sandy soil or very clay-heavy soil, you can either choose plants that naturally grow in that soil, or you can improve the soil to make it a better environment for your favourite plants.
How to prepare soil for planting
Great soil is the key to a great garden, but not everyone is blessed with naturally fertile, aerated soil. This is where soil preparation comes in, to add nutrients, improve the water retention or drainage, and give your garden the best shot.
Soil usually falls into one of three groups – clay, loam and sand – though most soils will have elements of each group. To find out what type of soil you have, dig down about 10 centimetres, grab a handful and squeeze it together.
Loamy soil will form a rough ball, but crumble easily. This is the ideal soil, a mixture of coarse and fine particles and plenty of organic matter. Usually, all you’ll need to do to improve it is to add more organic matter such as manure or compost.
Clay soil will form a smooth, solid ball that will go hard if you let it dry out. It consists mostly of fine particles, which means that it holds on to moisture and nutrients for longer, so plants need to be watered less frequently. However, this also means it has poor drainage and aeration, which means it can become waterlogged. To improve clay soil, you can add gypsum, a naturally occurring mineral also known as calcium sulfate, which helps by changing its structure. It’s also helpful to add organic matter.
Sandy soil won’t stay together when squeezed. It has large, coarse particles that won’t retain any moisture and lets the soil dry out too much. To improve it, add large quantities of organic matter and mix through well. You can also add soil wetting products, which help water bind to the particles.
Once you’ve improved your soil and your plants are in, top up the soil with an organic mulch to help retain water and keep roots safe and warm.
Everything you need to improve your soil, both underground and above, is available in bulk at Flower Power – no job is too big!
What is mulch?
Mulch is essentially any material you cover the soil with around your plants to keep moisture and nutrients in, maintain an even soil temperature and prevent weeds growing beside your plants.
You can get organic mulches or inorganic mulches, both with pros and cons. Organic mulches decompose over time, adding nutrients to the soil as they do so, but that does mean they need topping up regularly. Inorganic mulches last much longer, but don’t add any benefit to the soil.
Organic mulches include:
Straw, which decomposes quickly, improving the soil as it does.
Sugar cane also adds nutrients but is considered more attractive.
Pine bark is also chosen for its looks, thanks to its dark colour.
Coconut husk, also called coir, is quite decorative and popular for pots.
Hard wood and wood chips take a long time to break down and are great for suppressing weeds thanks to their weight and density.
Lucerne is also known as alfalfa, and is great for adding nitrogen for edible plants.
Grass clippings and fallen leaves have the benefit of being a by-product of the rest of your garden. Shred larger leaves so they don’t blow away.
Inorganic mulches include:
Gravel and garden pebbles are attractive, and will never need to be replaced.
Weedmat, or thick black plastic sheets are great for weed control, but they can break down in sunlight, adding plastic to your garden.
Landscape fabrics are similar, but are designed to let air and water through more effectively.
Newspaper is good for keeping weeds away, and can be used in conjunction with organic mulch to make it last longer.
Ready to get started on your next big garden project? Explore our range of bulk sand, soil, gravel, garden mix, garden pebbles, mulch and firewood online, or head to our in-store landscaping area at your nearest Flower Power to pick up everything you need and get advice on how to prepare soil for planting.