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Gardening on sandy soil

Our customer service advisors have informed us that recently they have had enquiries from some of our customers about gardening on sandy soil (also known as light soil).

The advantages of sandy soil:
The soil is porous – porous soils are well aerated, therefore excess water drains easily avoiding water logged roots. Sandy soil is also easy to work with.

The disadvantages:
The soil is often poor in minerals and can often be very acidic. Usually has low humus content and dries quickly as it has little moisture retaining power.

Black sand often has some humus (organic substances), yellow sand doesn’t. Podzol soils are easily recognisable by their individual layers as they have an upper layer (often less than half a meter) which consists of black earth. This is old arable land which for centuries the farmer would often have used manure on. This would have had a great benefit for improving the soil. It is good to improve the disadvantages of sandy soil. We recommend one or two bags (40 litres) mixed with the existing soil – the mixing is important. If you have a manure or compost heap it will be ideal for using. As a result, you retain the permeability and the humus content is increased. This in turn has a good influence on the moisture retaining ability. There will be more water retained.

If you live in a mushroom cultivation area it is often possible to buy mushroom compost and as it contains a high organic matter it is ideal used as a good soil improver.

Please note that most plants can stand in neutral soil in terms of acidity. However if you like to grow heather/rhododendrons in your garden then typical sandy soils is what they prefer. They do like clay as clay is alkaline. Increase the humus content especially for rhododendrons, but then only improve with peat! Peat is always more acidic than ordinary garden soil. Sandy soil is naturally an acidic soil.


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