Prior to our transformation to the
current metropolitan city, Singapore was well known for our orchards and plantations. Even Orchard Road was named after the numerous nutmeg, pepper and fruit orchards that covered the area since the 1830s. In 1859, sixty acres of land were transformed from the disused plantation into a
garden by the agri-horticultural society. It played a pivotal role in the region’s
rubber trade boom when its first scientific director headed research into the plant cultivation. Today, our Botanic Gardens has become Singapore’s first UNESCO heritage site. A large part of the garden’s success is due to the hard work of our many horticulturist and their careful management of the soil. Hello, I’m Alexius Yeo. I’m a practicing urban farmer and this is my backyard farm. Today, we are going to talk about soil. If you are a budding urban farmer and if you are trying to grow your plans but you are not able to, one of the biggest reasons could probably be your soil. In many gardens in Singapore, the soil actually is still not good enough because it is dominated by clay. If your garden soil looks something like this, you got a problem of too much clay. Now most of the soil in Singapore is considered clayey soil, which means that it tends to be orange in colour and holds a lot of clay particles. Clay is great for plants because it provides all the minerals it needs. However, if you have too much clay in it, the soil can become compacted. When our clayey soil gets compacted by rain or stepping, it becomes extremely hard and extremely difficult for the delicate roots of the plant to penetrate and grow in. However there are ways that you
can quickly improve your clay soil and one of the best ways is actually to buy these following materials from any nursery. To improve your compacted soil, you can add these ingredients: Perlite, Sand, Vermiculite, Volcanic rock and Pumice rock. To increase the fertility of your soil, you can add in compost. Most local vegetables grow very well
in soil that is dark in color, soft and of course teeming with life. This is an example of a really good tropical soil that is good for your vegetable. It is soft to touch. It is dark in colour, so it has a lot of nutrition. A lot of compost in it and of course it is really teeming with all kinds of life like earthworms, bacteria and fungi. However not all plants need the same kind of soil and if you are a bit more adventurous and you want to try
something that’s a little bit more exotic like Rosemary, you will need to change the soil. Plants like Rosemary actually don’t like wet feet because they come from Mediterranean climate Therefore if you want to grow Rosemary, you will need to add more sand and more pumice rock to make sure that there’s good filtration. That way, your plant will not be susceptible to all kinds of tropical fungi. Getting your soil right is the first step to a successful garden. Hope you have enjoyed this video.