Vertisols for Vegies

Gatton Research Station, irrigated vegetables, Lockyer Valley

qld-jp-gatton-191compDescription– very fertileblack earth’ or Vertisol, a dark self-mulching medium to heavy clay soil over heavy clay subsoil with an A1 horizon that is 20 – 25 cm deep and has pH values between 7.0 and 7.8.
qld-jb-usefood-356ycmpLocation– flat alluvial plain of the Lockyer Creek at Gatton Research Station

for this soil: 
– Commercial farming- intensive vegetable production (2 – 3 crops / year) 
– Farm research– currently comparing the use of raw and composted animal manures for their contribution to plant nutrition, to determine how mineral fertiliser use can be reduced.

qld-jb-manirrig-333comp Challenges for this soil to produce vegetables – and their managements: 
– Soils crack when dry in sub-tropical climate with moderate rainfall (770 mm pa)- irrigate to keep moist 
– Very sticky when wet – irrigating has to be carefully monitored and surface mounded into raised beds 
– Nutrients need replenishing for intensive cropping- added animal or mineral fertilizers and crop rotations

See more from Soil Selfies about
Queensland’s black soils in Black Cracking Clays on this backyard family farm at Meringandan,
or soil research on Wimmera vertisols  at Grains Innovation Park Horsham Australia in 
and farm irrigation in the Upper Danube valley at Hurbonova Res in Danube Loam Slovakia.

Credits: Johannes Biala, Gatton, gives permission for the photos and information to be used under a (cc) license 2015 Editing and page created by Jeanie Clark, enviroed4all®, Warracknabeal, for use in education under a (cc) licence 2015

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page setup 13 June 2015, updated 8 January 2016