1
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How to amend sandy soil to make it suitable for vegetable growing?

General    None Given

I would really like to grow vegetables in my garden but the soil is very sandy. How can I make it suitable for vegetable growing? Is there anything that would grow in the soil as it is?


Posted by: Jenny Robertson (2 points) Jenny Robertson
Posted: March 16, 2013




Answers

2
points
Building up a sandy soil can be pretty fun. Like recycling and reusing things on steroids

First rule if it has ever been alive or made from a once living thing it goes into or onto your soil. That means paper, paper products, used tissues, phone books, go take peoples leaves, pine needles, grass clippings, ask everyone you know to save coffee grounds, hit up the morning coffee joints for theirs. I would buy the pallets of torn bags from the big box stores of compost/potting soils ect just to toss it on the ground.

The second thing I did was go to Walmart and buy unscented special kitty non clumping cat litter the kind that sells for <3 bucks a bag. I bought 16 bags. 400 pounds mixed half of it in about a foot deep and the other half worked in 6 inches deep.

Back to rule one topped my entire growing area with chopped Christmas trees to 3-4 inches deep

Really adding any organic matter to your sand is going to help it, building a compost pile and hunting down free and cheap organic matter to compost or toss on the ground is at least 1/3rd the fun I have in gardening.


Posted by: Wurgulf (45 points) Wurgulf
Posted: March 28, 2013


Jenny Robertson commented,
Wow, great pictures! What purpose does the kitty litter serve?
almost 6 years ago.

Wurgulf commented,
The goal with the kitty litter was many fold, to up the water retention (I have seen it called redneck or poor mans water crystals), diversify the physical structure, and as a remineralization amendment.
I cant find the original supporting document that listed the mineral break up of 16 or so aquarium substrates but it basically pointed out that the kitty litter was of good mineral composition and by bulk the cheapest source of nutrients. http://www.thekrib.com/Plants/Fertili...
http://bionutrient.org/growers/amendm...

almost 6 years ago.



1
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Watermelons like sandy soil. If your in a hurry, you will have to remove some of the sandy soil and replace with better soil. The best advice is start a compost pile and learn all you can about composting. Compost, compost, compost. Good soil takes many years to develop and you must learn how to take care of it.


Posted by: deactivated (1 point) deactivated
Posted: March 16, 2013




1
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Soil texture (mix of different soil-particle sizes) is notoriously difficult to change. If your soil is very sandy, it might make sense to build raised beds on top of the sand and "manufacture" a topsoil to fill the beds with.

You could start with equal parts of soilless planting mix, good compost, and loamy topsoil. Ask a few questions before you buy topsoil or "loam." http://bit.ly/11kRY42

Although we have a couple of expansive backyard gardens, I've also built a number or raised beds to increase our growing area, give us more opportunities for crop rotation, and cover a few gravelly spots close to the house.

Here's a photo of some of them (in June, I think) viewed through the glazing of our little greenhouse. They're easy to plant, weed, and maintain, and it's great to have herbs and salad crops growing just outside the kitchen door.


Posted by: Peg Boyles (2 points) Peg Boyles
Posted: March 21, 2013


Jenny Robertson commented,
Yes I had been considering raised beds Peg, thanks for the detailed answer, I appreciate the help
almost 6 years ago.



1
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well as far as getting better soil , i would work in peat moss, potting soil, ground corncob cat litter, composted manure and work it in. or as i did for the flowerbed / garden in the pic, plant in a raised bed. it becomes easier to weed and the worms will come up from the soil below into it. or you can buy at a bait store and toss them in. best way is to dig a hole and drop them in minus container and then cover them. they will work it together and you dont have to worry about the sand. your soil is above it. you can always work it in later.


Posted by: john faust (5 points) john faust
Posted: April 8, 2013




0
points
Don't use big box compost that contains "forest products". Municipal compost piles are generally good. To start with, add a good supply of peat moss. After that, just add a couple inches of compost every year. Just scratch it into the top couple inches of soil. The worms will be the rest.


Posted by: Tom Wentzel (1 point) Tom Wentzel
Posted: March 18, 2013




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