Katy
Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2007 5:16 am
Location: Cape Town

Sandy soil

Hi I don't know if this is the right place to post this, but I'm at my wits end with this problem.

We stay near the coast and our soil is very sandy (beach sand). I have a horse and everywhere he walks his hooves cut up the existing growth moving the roots out of the ground, and so the plants die. I was thinking to find a grass with deep root system so that the grass would get a real good hold in the sand. We are staying in a biosphere and cannot use just any grass. They want us to use buffalo grass and I have planted some in an area but it grows so slowly and also as the soil becomes loose around the roots, it dies, also its not a very palatable grass for horses. Someone suggested Long Fescue (I think that's how its spelt). Do you think this grass will work?

Hope you will be able to help me. Thanks

cynthia_h
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7501
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 11:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

You're living in a biosphere? Like the experiments in Arizona some years back?

If so, it might be possible to use the horse's manure plus dead plant matter plus fruit/veg scraps to make COMPOST.

Work this compost into the sandy soil--not just once, but as a regular practice. The soil will hold water better, roots will grab onto it better, and the horse's hooves won't be able to uproot the grass as easily.

Let us know more about the biosphere situation; maybe my compost suggestion is completely whacked...

Cynthia H.
USDA Zone 9, Sunset Zone 17

Katy
Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2007 5:16 am
Location: Cape Town

Hi Thanks for your reply. I had a whole story to tell you but.. poof ..it disappeared just before I sent it. Here is a shortened version. The biosphere is a fynbos biosphere (wild flower reserve for the Western Cape) and we aren't allowed to plant anything illegal here.

The soil is greasy and does not allow water to penetrate we also have a lot of wind, so anything we put down blows away. That, that we dig in, dries out and moves to the top of the soil and blows away. I hear what you say about the compost. Maybe I must dig it in, plant grass seed and cover it with a shade cloth to stop the wind blowing everything out.

It pays to discuss a problem with understanding people, thanks again.

Regards

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