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how to make soil "sandy soil"

Posted by ellenr 7A NJ (My Page) on
Thu, Mar 20, 14 at 11:40

I am WS'ing Gazania, an annual in the Asteraceae family. The package calls for sandy soil.

so in the jugs I'm making them 50-50 regular potting soil-sand.

when I transplant to garden, I shall make that clay soil sandy also.

Just wonder if anyone has ever done this, and if so what proportions you use.

thanks,
ellen


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: how to make soil "sandy soil"

It is impossible to change clay soil to sandy soil. Your soil composition is the result of millions of years of geologic effects of earthquakes, glacial movement, oceans coming and going, etc. More recently, the bulldozers that excavated the lot that your home is built on may have had a significant effect on your soil, but even that was probably minimal. If you try to add sand to your clay soil, I'm afraid you'll end up with something very close to concrete. The best way to improve the drainage of your soil is to incorporate organic material such as compost, shredded leaves, wood chips, peat, manure, etc. these will all increase the ability of water and air and nutrients to flow through the soil, which increases the availability of these items to the plant roots. Unfortunately, these additions need to be made repeatedly since the micro-organisms in the soil break the organic matter down, which is how it becomes available to the plants. Fortunately, nature cycles in such a way that organic matter is replaced yearly as fallen leaves each autumn. That is why the soil in deciduous forests is so rich, and why our ancestors cut down all the trees to grow crops. Unfortunately, they also cut down part of the very source of the rich soil.

I hope that answers your question, though not in the way you hoped.

Martha


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RE: how to make soil "sandy soil"

If its just a few planting holes, I use bags of play sand from Home Depot. I loosen the dirt in the hole, add about 1/2 to 1/3 bag per hole and mix it in the existing soil. Sometimes I mix 1/2 sand & 1/2 organic soil amendment, depends on how bad it is.

This is much cheaper: For a bed, I get a ton of coarse sand from the concrete place close by. Sounds like a lot of sand but its really not at all. Thats about the amount for a good sized sand box and costs around $12 & hardly fills a pick up truck, its just a good sized pile in the middle. Takes about 2 or 3 hours to wheel it to the area & dig it in. I've never regretted it. I have added tons of sand around here & I can easily dig it with a hand shovel now. It holds water much better, roots grow better due to oxygen in the looser soil. It made all the diff.

Really good loam can be had with 1/3 clay, 1/3 sand, 1/3 organic matter.


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