SESL Webinar | The Good Oil On Soil + Horticulture

SESL Webinar | The Good Oil On Soil + Horticulture

 The Good Oil on Soil and Horticulture > https://aila-org-au.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_BbTfJ9V4TQmhzr59m26KDw

Discussion: Landscape Soil - how to tell the good from the bad; how soil can be improved; identification of plant selection criteria and how to implement quality assurance for success.

Presenters: Soil Scientists: Simon Leake, Dr Peter Somerville & Horticulturalist: Samantha Grant-Vest.

If you wish to learn more about how to identify a bad soil from a good soil, we recommend joining AILAs webinar, The Good Oil on Soil + Horticulture. SESL Australia team of soil scientists, Simon Leake, Dr Peter Somerville & Horticulturalist Samantha Grant-Vest will discuss the important properties to look for to ensure you are importing the right soil for your project or applying the correct amelioration process. 

Depleted quarry supplies, contaminated soils, and insufficient site resources means imported soil is sometimes the most practical option. Recycled soil is not created equal, comprising a medley of construction waste, street sweepings, high organic inputs such as ash etc. It can often be challenging for Landscape Architects to determine the best recycled soil to ensure plant success. 

SESL will discuss the common limitations in both site-won and imported soil, the consequences and what to look for so you can confidently choose an appropriate imported soil or ameliorate existing site soil to achieve landscape success and mitigate planting failure. 

SESL’s horticulturist will discuss the importance of sound horticulture from the ground up. For example: 

  • The importance of plant selection based on soil chemistry and soil physics; wind tolerance, solar exposure (direct and deflected) and importantly resources for ongoing maintenance - site specific plant schedules. 
  • The importance of plant placement and plant installation plans based on the soil conditions. Consideration of mature dimensions, competition for nutrients, compacted soils or supporting plants in lightweight, low-density soils.  
  • The importance of QAQC in plant selection and early procurement of plants to ensure supply of good quality plants, conditioned to the proposed site; pruned and trained to achieve the desired form and dimensions. 
  •  The importance of developing hold points during landscape installation and maintenance plans to ensure the longevity of the project. 


We recommend attending this webinar if you wish to learn more about the following:

  1. What is a landscape soil – imported or site won.
  2.  What are the limitations of imported soils and what to look out for when reviewing the analysis?
  3.  Benefits of waste/recycled soils.
  4.  Amelioration processes for site won or imported soils.
  5.  How a well thought out approach to soil design within specifications can benefit projects.
  6.  The importance of quality assurance and validation of your soils.
  7.  Choosing the right plants based on the soil properties.


Event proudly supported by:






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Simon Leake - Principal Soil Scientist and SESL Founder

Simon is Technical Director and soil science subject matter expert at SESL with over 40 years’ experience and enjoys mentoring the SESL team and encouraging the objective application of science knowledge to solve client problems. Simon is an expert in soil/vegetation rehabilitation and reconstruction such as in mine sites and urban renewal projects. Simon has extensive experience in composting and waste resource recycling to land and SESL runs several monitoring programs for waste to land recycling. Notable major projects include Darling Harbour, Bond University, Sydney Olympic Park, One Central Park and Barangaroo. Simon has been published multiple times including the most notable, “Soils for Landscape Development”, a practical guide for future development of landscape soil technology and the specification of soil and growing media. 


Dr Peter Somerville - Senior Soil Scientist

Peter is a Senior Soil Scientist and is SESL Australia’s Victoria Project Manager. Peter is based in Melbourne where he works as part of the soil science team. Peter has a Master of Urban Horticulture and a PhD from the University of Melbourne. Peter is an expert in urban soils and the remediation of degraded soils to improve the establishment and growth of plants. He possesses field experience in soil surveying, assessment for agricultural suitability (LSC/BSAL), profile construction and plant decline assessments. In the field of soil science, Peter brings to the table a diverse range of skills in soil management obtained from academic study and project experience, allowing him to provide site and soil type specific advice for a range of end uses. Peter has extensive experience in managing a range of projects, providing soil science advice across all stages (inception, design, construction, supervision, and validation) to clients to ensure the best outcome is achieved. 

Samantha Grant-Vest - Horticulturalist, Senior Environmental Scientist and Resource Recovery Manager

Samantha joined SESL in 2016 after completing a Bachelor of Environmental Science at Macquarie University. Samantha specialised in environmental contamination and has co-authored a published scientific paper examining the remediation of lead contaminated soil in Boolaroo, NSW. Samantha also holds a Bachelor of Horticultural Science and has held several senior positions within the industry including senior horticulturist within the media industry for ten years; as a horticultural advisor for 2GB’s Garden Clinic Radio Club members for two years and as the manager of a vibrant inner-city nursery for four years. Through her various roles, Samantha has consulted on urban landscape design, plant selection, plant nutrition, pest and disease control and worked on a number of community garden and sustainability projects. Samantha brings over 20+ years of horticultural expertise together with her knowledge of soil science and environmental contamination to her role as SESL’s Resource Recovery Manager; focussing on the diversion of beneficial wastes away from landfill and towards innovative reuse for soil improvement.


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Wednesday, 27 September 2023
12:30 pm to 1:30 pm

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