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Sandy Soil - Soil Amendments

By Edited Feb 15, 2016 1 0

If your landscape has an area of sandy soil on it, then you know that it lacks essential nutrients to sustain plant life. Coupled with that, the nutrients that are actually in sandy soil usually leach out very quickly. Soil amendments are necessary to improve the properties of the soil. Soil amendments are accomplished by mixing materials into the soil to improve the structure of the soil. By amending the soil, there will be noticeable improvements in water retention, permeability, filtration, and drainage. Soil amendments provide better aeration for the soil and increase the nutrient holding capacity. This will enable roots to get the necessary elements to sustain life. That being said, there are some plants that are sand lovers.

Organic Soil Amendments

There are several ways to make soil amendments to sandy soil. First there is organic soil amendments. This type of amendment involves adding material to the soil that was once living matter. When organic soil amendments are mixed with the soil, they break down and decay releasing vital nutrients into the soil. Examples of these are whole plants such as clover and oats that are planted as cover crops. Another example is compost, wood chips, and animal manure. You can also add organic fertilizers to the soil to amend it.

Inorganic Soil Amendments

Next, inorganic material can be used for amending the soil. This type of material improves the soils ability to retain water and nutrients. Examples of inorganic materials are lime and gypsum. Both of these material will also affect the ph of the soil. So before adding them to the dirt, you should have the ph checked. You can get this done at your local agricultural office by taking a sample to them, or you can invest in a good soil ph tester kit. It is a good idea to know what you want to plant before adding either of these to your soil. As I stated early, there are some plant that love a sandy soil. Furthermore, you can amend your soil using slow-releasing inorganic fertilizers too.

Some plant are sand lovers. They will thrive in sandy soil conditions. Here are some examples of these types of plants. Annual phlox, Artemisia, golden aster, lamb's ears, Japanese anemone, oregano, rosemary, thyme, and sage all love a sandy environment. Tulips and sedums prefer sandy soil to the heavier soil as well. Still, you should always know what type of soil that you have and it's ph in order to have the best yield from your plants.

Just keep in mind that if you have sandy soil and want to amend it you should had organic or inorganic material. Mix it into the soil down to about six inches deep. Let it set for about two weeks before you begin planting your garden or crops, and you will have restored it to a viable condition.

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