Gardening in Sandy Soil

by April Reinhardt
(last updated December 25, 2015)


If you have sandy soil, then you probably already know that there are benefits and drawbacks when planting in it. Root plants, such as potatoes and carrots, flourish in sandy soil since the roots grow easily through the soil to the water and nutrients below. Digging in sandy soil requires less exertion since the soil is less dense than clay soils. Water definitely flows better through sandy soil, and sand also breaks down organic matter due to its abrasive nature. The organic matter is crucial to provide plant roots with nitrates and nutrition.

Yet there are a few disadvantages when gardening in sandy soil. While water penetrates the soil easily, sometimes too much water can filter through too fast, allowing the top part of the soil to dry too quickly. To counteract the problem, gardeners need to water quite frequently, and doing so risks washing away essential nutrients from the garden area. And to compensate for that problem, gardeners need to reapply nutrients during the growing season.

So, how do you garden in sandy soil and still grow flowers and food optimally? Basically, there are two things you can do—either amend the soil to keep the water and nutrients in the soil or choose to grow plants that are acclimated to sandy soil.

If you want to amend your sandy soil, add heavy elements to encourage the soil to bind. Start a compost heap and include bone meal, leaves, leftover vegetables, wood chips and bark, and tree and shrub limbs that have been cut into fine particles. Mix the manure with the compost material and add it to your sandy soil. These elements will help to enrich the ground, making the soil more dense and binding.

If you don't want to invest the time or energy to amend your soil, choose plants that will grow in sandy soil. Some of those plants are cacti, carrots, radishes, garlic, strawberries, blueberries, hostas, peppers, tomatoes, daylilies, iris, beetroot, parsnips, lettuce, new potatoes, and certain bean varieties.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...


Caring for Simple Cuts

There are a just few mandatory rules to follow when caring for simple cuts. And although most people know first aid for ...

Discover More

Online Clothing Stores

If you dread the thought of bustling from one store to another, then online shopping is for you. You can shop from the ...

Discover More

Identifying Garden Pests

Not all insects are destructive to a garden. Ladybugs, Lacewings, and predatory wasps eat destructive caterpillars and ...

Discover More
More Gardening Tips

Importance of Scale in Garden Design

Scale has a fairly large role in designing a garden or landscape. In fact, it has such an important role that if you ...

Discover More

Importance of Space in Garden Design

If you are designing a garden, then you really need to understand how important space is. Frankly the importance of space ...

Discover More

Which Soil is Best for Plant Growth?

When you test your soil for pH, the kit's package instructions will recommend either adding lime to raise the alkalinity, ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured gardening tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."


If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 1 + 5?

2012-08-14 04:36:29


It is great to see more tips for gardening in less conventional areas (like sandy soil and desert climates).

Appreciate this.


FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured gardening tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)