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Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2016 3:20 pm

dealing with sand; not sandy, sand

I live in the cold Northeast in an over 55 detached condo development. In the back I have a very small (maybe 40 sq feet) space for a garden and a section about 20ft by 7ft along the garage for vegetables.

The small area suffered greatly last year from the sandy soil. Growth was very slow and vegetables could have had more flavor. I could concentrate on root crops; but enough is enough. I've been adding kitchen scraps and carbon and hope to make more progress this season.

It's on the grassy larger area I'd like a plan to move it along faster. One advantage I do have is a sizable source of alpaca compost available. But, what is the best way to dilute the sand. This area has about 3 or 4 inches of soil with nothing but sand underneath. I requested making a raised bed garden but it was refused. (Yeah, I know - move.)

Should I have a local farmer truck some better topsoil in and rototill it. Scrape up the grass and topsoil and truck away about a foot of sand. Forgetting the whole it is another option.

I'd appreciate some advice on handling this much pure sand. It's not sandy soil; it's sand.



Posts: 14074
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: Hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

You can plant in pots, otherwise keep adding compost and organics to the soil. I have the opposite problem. I have sticky red clay. I could use some sand. The fix for both conditions is the same, keep adding organic matter. Organic matter sinks over time so you have to keep doing it.
HOA's can be a pain. I am surprised they don't have rules about where you can locate a vegetable garden.

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2661
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:52 am
Location: SE-OH USA Zone 6-A

More is better. The more compost, and the more times you apply it the better your micro-herd will become and the better veggies-flowers will be growing in it.

My best garden in sand took till the third year, and I don't stint the compost or manure.

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7447
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 10:20 pm
Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

Yes, as noted, keep adding compost and organic matter to your soil. Plant roots tend to go deep, down to 8 feet at times. So the roots will be going down into the sand, and these roots as they decompose will be a boost to the next generation of plants.

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