Daily Archives: April 5, 2013

Sandy Soil-utions: Gardening in Sandy Soil

sandy soil planting

Sandy soils are very rough and often provide a lot of drainage for water to pass through – which makes this soil type unable to hold many nutrients. Sand particles are estimated to be about 0.05 mm to 2 mm in size which gives it a rough texture and makes it unable to hold water and nutrients. Most plants that thrive in these types of soils are those that require low levels of nutrients and water.

Desert plants like the cactus are known to grow well in these types of soils. These plants mostly have succulent leaves and body parts where they store or retain water and moisture. They are also known to survive in deserts and hot climates where water is scarce and require little amount of water in order to survive.

Adjusting the Soil

In order for other plants to survive in sandy soil, there are a few things that must be adjusted or added in it to make it a “healthy soil”. The characteristics of sandy soil that has little amount of nutrients and inability to hold water are the things that should be fixed. If these characteristics are fixed or eliminated, then you do not have to plant cacti in your garden anymore and you can start planting flowers or vegetables instead.

We can add better texture to the sandy soil which will increase the nutrient level in it and its ability to hold or retain water, making it suitable for other non-desert plant to thrive in. Here are a few tips that can help you manage the problem associated with having sandy soil in your garden:

Adding Organic Matter

Organic matter like compost will help bind the loose particles of the sandy soil. By doing this, we increase the amount of water that the soil can retain or hold. Added organic matter will increase and improve the amount or level of nutrients in the soil and will make or turn the once sandy and loose type of soil into a healthy soil that other plants can grow into.

Mixing Well

You do not simply add organic materials or compost in sandy soil types. Mixing thoroughly the newly added materials is the key to the successful merging of the materials into the soil. Tilling is an act that helps aerate the soil which also speeds up the decomposition of the organic materials added to it. Furthermore, this process also helps not just by mix the soil amendments but also by improving soil deeper or in greater depth.

Once you are done with improving the soil condition, you will be ready to plant any plant that you like and you will be assured that the soil where you have planted them is no longer loose but can retain sufficient amount of water and moisture and most of all, contains high level nutrients because of the organic matter or compost added to it.