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Many gardeners have sandy soil, which tends to drain fast and holds few nutrients. It’s not the ideal soil for growing large vegetables and flowers, but with a little work you can make it work. The key is to keep moisture in the soil.

Sandy Uprooted Trees by the Thousands

The best solution becoming sandy is to use organic matter to increase the soil’s ability to hold water and nutrients. Good compost, manure, vermiculite and coconut coir are all excellent choices. Adding these materials helps sandy soil retain water by slowing down the flow of rainwater and reducing evaporation. They also help the soil bind sand particles and absorb and hold nutrients.

Organic matter is also critical in helping sandy soils be more hospitable to the bacteria and fungi that make up the “glue” of healthy soils. The easiest way to do this is to add good garden compost that contains a high percentage of humic acid. This helps break down the organic matter into a form that is easily absorbed by soil roots.

Using these methods will eventually turn your sandy soil into a loamy texture. But they are not permanent solutions, and your soil will revert back to its original hydrophobic state once these materials are used up. If you want a long term solution then consider clay soil amendments such as kaolin clay, which will permanently change the composition of your soil to never be hydrophobic again. Then your soil will stay moist, nutrient rich and able to develop the biology of organisms and fungi needed to support plant root growth.


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