How To Improve Sandy Soil

Sandy soil or other soil types that do not hold water and nutrients as affectively can be a challenge for gardeners. But a sandy soil is not an obstacle to creating a wonderful garden to please the eye and provide food for a household. Here are some things you can do to improve sandy soil and make sure that it is better able to provide for the plants in your garden:

MulchingAdd Organic Material

All soils can be greatly improved by the addition of organic material. In the case of sandy soils, organic material will improve the texture of the soil and its ability to retain moisture and, to a certain extent, nutrients. You can incorporate organic material by digging it into your sandy topsoil and also be layering organic matter on the soil surface as a thick mulch. Chopping and dropping as you build your garden will also gradually improve the soil's fertility and its ability to retain moisture.

BiocharAdd Biochar

For sandy soils, particularly acidic sandy soils, an application of biochar has been proven to be of use in improving the ability of the soil to retain nutrients. Biochar is charcoal made from plant matter and is also a way of holding carbon in the soil. It can endure in the soil for a long, long time and will aid fertility long term, increasing soil biodiversity and increasing the range of crops that can be successfully grown.

SwaleManage Water and Improve Moisture Retention

Lack of water retention is one of the big problems for sandy soil. Good water management involves building water management devices such as mulch-filled swales to retain all the water that falls as rain on the land. Using mulches and ground cover plants can also minimise the amount of water lost through evaporation. Try to avoid leaving big areas of soil bare – nature abhors bare soil.

EucalyptusAppropriate Planting

As will any soil type, success also depends on choosing plants that are suited to the conditions where you live. Make sure that you choose plants that like a sandy soil. You will have success with more drought-tolerant plants and should of course steer clear of any that require lots of water. Which plants will grow well will also depend on the pH of your soil and the degree to which a gardener has already been able to amend it.

Sandy soil, like any soil type, has its problems but it also has its benefits. Work with nature to improve and care for your soil and it will help you grow an amazing garden.