What Is Sand Soil?

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This article provides a description of sand soil.
by Brett · All Zones · Terminology · 0 Comments · April 04, 2011 · 44,616 views

What is "sand soil"?

A soil in which sand predominates is classified, logically enough, as a sand-textured soil or simply a sandy soil. Sandy soils are coarse in texture. SOme plants and trees love growing in sandy soils, while others can't tolerate it.

The Positives

A sandy, coarse-textured soil:

  • Drains easily and quickly after a rain
  • Is easily worked, and warms up quickly in the spring.

The Negatives

Sandy soil also has some disadvantages:

  • It has a lower moisture-holding capacity than other soil types and therefore must be watered more frequently.
  • It has a lower nutrient-holding capacity than a other soil types and must be fertilized more often.
  • When vegetative cover is lacking, it is subject to wind and water erosion.

Improving Sandy Soils

As mentioned above, some plants prefer growing in a sandy soil. These plants will usually have roots that penetrate deeply to find water way beneath the surface. Other types of plants don't have this ability and sandy soil will have to be improved to grow them.

Sandy soils can be enormously improved by the generous addition of organic matter such as mushroom compost, composted manure, or peatmoss. Spread a layer of organic matter 3 to 4 inches (7 to 10cm) thick on the surface of the area to be improved, and then thoroughly incoporate into the soil. If you do not incorporate the organic matter, water will not percolate well and thus plants will grow poorly.

Keep in mind that excessive amounts of manure, especially if fresh, can raise nutrient and salt levels to a degree that may be toxic and therefore restrict plant growth


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