Gardening Blogs

3 Key Tips to Improve Sandy Soil

Growing plants has become all the rage these days. In order to have high quality plants, however, you need to ensure the quality of the soil. Ideally, when dampened and rolled into a sausage-like shape, you’d prefer soil that holds its shape then eventually breaks apart. If it breaks apart immediately, you have what is known as “sandy soil”.

To improve sandy soil has several disadvantages. Some of the drawbacks of sandy soil include; it contains fewer nutrients, retains less moisture, and tends to be more acidic. Despite these challenges, there are several ways to improve Sandy Soil. After taking the soil’s salt level into consideration, you can do any of the following:

1. Add Organic Matter

Using materials such as compost, coconut coir (dried, compressed coconut hulls) or biochar (char from organic items burned at a low temperature) allow for better retention of water. You would want to begin with three or four inches of organic matter on top of sandy soil. This breaks down easily, however, so you will need to add more over time.

2. Add Layers of Mulch

Mulch, which may be made from grass clippings, shredded leaves, hay, or even straw, can be applied in two to three-inch layers around plants. This eventually decomposes and becomes part of the soil, resulting to additional nutrients.

3. Grow Cover Crops

It’s ideal to always be growing something – such as clover – on sandy soil as it reverts to sand when unused.

4. Apply Peat Moss or Vermiculite

Though they don’t add nutrients, peat moss or vermiculite increases water retention.

It’s best to choose vegetables that grow well in Sandy Soil such as root vegetables and Mediterranean herbs. Despite all these improvements, the soil is still sandy at its core. Keeping all of these in mind, growing crops in Sandy Soil becomes a distinct possibility.

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