Sandy soil is made up of large soil particles that don't stick together very well. It has a gritty texture, and is especially common in coastal regions.
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As with all types of soil, sandy soil has both its benefits and its drawbacks. Let's start with the positive stuff...
Benefits of sandy soil
- One key advantage of sandy soil is that it drains very quickly after rain. This makes your garden less prone to flooding.
Easy to work with
- Light sandy soils are noticeably easier to work than heavy clay soils. This is great news if you're planning to do a lot of digging and hoeing! Plants also find it easier to take root in sandy soil.
Warms up quickly
- When winter ends and temperatures begin to rise, sandy soils warm up a lot faster than clay soils.
Problems with sandy soil
Dries out fast
- Rapid drainage is a double-edged sword! Sandy soil isn't very good at retaining moisture, and certain plants will need to be watered more frequently to compensate for this.
Not enough nutrients
- Nutrients leach out of sandy soil very quickly, which can leave plants undernourished. Rainfall and routine watering will flush key nutrients away - more so than if you had silty soil or clay soil.
Can be very acidic
- Sandy soil is often quite acidic. Whether or not this is a problem depends on what type of plants you're trying to grow.
What to do if you have sandy soil
Having sandy soil in your garden isn't necessarily a bad thing - as we've seen, this type of soil has advantages as well as disadvantages.
Here are some tips to help you make the most of your sandy soil:
- Use garden compost (or other organic matter) to boost your soil's moisture retention
- Top dressing can help to improve the quality of your soil over time
- Water regularly - especially during dry periods - to counteract the soil's rapid drainage
- Stick to drought-tolerant plants that can flourish in dry soil (e.g. lavender, root vegetables, some geraniums)
If your garden needs a bit of TLC, call Lawn & Weed Expert on 0800 111 4958 to book your FREE lawn survey. We can offer a variety of treatments to get your lawn looking its best.
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