what kind of sand do you use in growing?

Discussion in 'Fruit and Veg Gardening' started by rOckabLe, Jun 9, 2010.

  1. rOckabLe

    rOckabLe New Seed

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    I've always seen labels read "Plant in fast draining sandy location or container" Is this like play sand? I cant imagine it would be silicon sand? I have clayish soil and was told adding sand would help it out alot, but wasnt really told what kind of sand, or if the same sand can be added when potting citrus or cactus. I've been told mulching with sand keeps bugs down in the Greenhouse, but what type to use? I had no idea there was so much sand to choose from! Is anyone else as lost as I am when it comes to grain?
     



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  2. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    The sand used to amend some soil is what's called builders sand...you can find it at Home Depot and Lowes and probably other garden centers. It is coarse grain and will provide good drainage....play sand is very fine grain and will cause more troubles than you had before. Not knowing how much or how little to add to your soil can cause problems too.

    You should probably talk to someone at a reputable garden center about what your local soil needs as far as amendments are concerned rather than just start dumping stuff into the planting holes. Some things will help and some will make matters worse.

    Also a good idea for a beginning gardener is to stick with plants that are native or naturalized to your area. Those will be able to grow in your soil without much amendment, will withstand the weather conditions you have and will, in the long run, make you a much happier gardener.
     
  3. rOckabLe

    rOckabLe New Seed

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    Yeah, Just like food *pokes tummy* too much of anything is bad. Unfortunatly, I dont really have any reputable garden centers around here, the most knowledgeable "gardener" I know around this area is a kind heart elderly lady whom works at Home Depot, unfortunatly she doesnt have a garden (go figure), shes givin me the names of all the books shes read to know what she knows, I've since bought them as well. No one really talks about how to use sand in gardening in the books, saying only "you can add sand to potting soil if drainage is slow" so yah. I had just written a blog about how poopy our nurserys are around here, I guess I'll just set out a side of the garden to experiment with, know that I know what kind of sand to use :)
     
  4. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    There is bound to be a garden club in your area or a county extension office connected with a local college. Ask around for a Master Gardener program, they will usually have a 'help line' where people can ask all sorts of gardening questions you should be able to find them thru a local college.
    In fact the phone number for the Master Gardener program closest to you is 323-260-3407
    5500 South Eastern Avenue, Los Angeles
     
  5. mart

    mart Young Pine

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    If you are adding sand to increase drainage in clay based soil or simply to lighten it up I would add about 1/3 to start. Get a pot and add 2/3 regular soil and 1/3 sand. Add water and see how it drains. That will give you an idea of what to start with. Or you can add 1/3 each soil,compost and sand. After adding the water let it sit in the sun about a week. Put a fork into the mix and see if it tills well. It should turn easily with no clumps. If it still clumps add more compost and sand.
     

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