View Full Version : Advantages and Disadvantages of Sandy Soil

07-07-2003, 09:48 AM
Sandy soils have a fine grained silica base. They retain very little in the way of water, fertilizers and nutrients. This means they are an extremely poor growing medium. Once they dry out they are difficult to moisten. Water just runs off. All is not lost though they can be revitalized with the addition of organic matter.

Sandy soils are light and easy to dig, hoe and weed. They warm up rapidely in the spring and seeds germinate very fast. They do however allow water to drain through too quickly and this results in nutients being washed away.

Give sandy soil body by digging in clay. Large quanties of humus, peat, leaf mould, compost or manures. This will improve the soil, but you will still need to water regularly. Even with all the added improvements to the soil it may still dry out rapidly. This type of soil will also need fertilizers on a regular basis.

Sometimes sandy soil is high in acid, this can be corrected by adding lime.

A well improved sandy soil is ideal for growing vegetables, bulbs and annuals. Also conifers prefer light sandy soil.

07-08-2003, 10:37 AM
The soil up at the cottage is rather sandy. Lots of White Pine and wild blueberries....:)

Thank you, Mamu! :)

amid chaos
07-08-2003, 06:44 PM
""""SIGH"""...sandy soil..the story of my life!!!

07-08-2003, 11:10 PM
Living on Long Island - I have sandy soil in parts of the yard. However, there is one spot - where I planted the plant I stole from the neighbors just recently (did I tell you that story?). This is the spot where I originally wanted to plant my hydrangea but it was such a pain digging. First off, previous owners must have had a sand box there for the kids or something and then, when you dig down a little deeper, they buried a pool liner there!!!! What a pain it was to try and dig that out, and the sand is falling over the spots I cleared - etc. etc. Anyway, I think my point was that I understand the sandy soil problems!

07-09-2003, 05:41 AM
No Tuli you dd not tell us the story about your raiding the neighbors flower garden.

:bounce: I sure would like to hear it :bounce:

Were you a midnight marauder plucking plants from neighbors?

Why is it nothing you do suprises me and always brings laughter.

07-09-2003, 10:27 PM
My one area of exposed wire-link fence between me and my neighbor reveals his pool pump. Two years ago, I was going to place my hydrangea in that area but got into trouble digging up the area because of all the sand and then finding that stupid liner. I dug and cut a lot of it out at the time but I decided during all this that it is too shaded there and my hydrangea would need more sun so we planted it (looking like it had been through a fire at that point in time) in a different area and it is doing nicely.

Meanwhile, we placed the doghouse in the original area in attempt to hide neighbor's pump and block the noise.

Woke up one morning late last month to the sound of tractors and such. The neighbor across the street was getting his driveway, walkway and stoop all redone. Taking out the old and in with the new. Along with it were shrubs being pulled out left and right! Well, these were evergreen shrubs and just perfect to fill in that area by the fence to block the other neighbor's pool pump.

So, I made a phone call to the neighbor getting work done and I did ask. She didn't answer the phone so I left this long stupid message (sometimes I think I really am a jerk!) about wanting to steal one of her plants. She said she was busy when the phone rang and came into the room and heard the end of my message and wondered who I was and what was I yakking about! Well, when she replayed entire message she called me right back and told me to take whatever I want. I said I was going out right now but would be back later and she said her hubby would bring one over for me when he gets home.

Well, I did my errands and when I returned home, they were not home but my son was and we went over there with the wheelcart and I picked out one, had son load it up, decided no, that was not good, made him dump it and put another one into the cart. His friend was laughing at him probably more likely at me but felt safer laughing at son.

He pushed my new prized possession back home and then I proceeded to start digging a hole for it and suddenly remembered why there is no plant in this area. Had the problem with the sand and then I hit more of that stupid pool liner again. Cut and dig, dig and cut, yank, pull, etc. But combined with what I did last time, I managed to get enough of an area uncovered. Dug a hole and added topsoil, peatmoss and whatever else I could find to make the sand not so sandy. Plopped the plant in (more like dragged it... it was heavy!!)and then watered in.

By the time neighbor across the street came back, I was able to bring her over and show her the plant's new home. Her hubby later told to me about how I could have "stolen" a whole lot more plants!

Several hours later, the workers dug up the bushes that I REALLY would have liked!! But I am happy with this one.

Pool pump neighbor admired new plant the next day and said that is the best way to get plants. He used to do it all the time. He told me about the azaleas he rescued from the curb on garbage pickup day. Also, he built his shed with a similar philosophy. He is an original owner in the development and his shed - which is really nice - was built with all the "scrap" lumber he would find laying around the different building sites which he would drag home telling his wife "look at what I found that the workers were going to throw out!"

BTW - The neighbors across the street had the landscapers come back today and planted plants! Now THESE plants I would LOVE to steal. Beautiful ornamental grasses, coralbells, lilies, the red Japanese tree I like, another ornamental tree and many shrubs and some flowers which I were not sure what they were. Will have to get a closer look at all this later during the week.

Meanwhile, this neighbor had told me he has NO idea whatsoever how much all this was going to cost him because it is his wife's cousin who was doing the work (and GORGEOUS work they did) and the cousin keeps telling him "not to worry". Meanwhile, the neighbor says, they made the stoop much larger than he expected, and he thought the walkway was going to be so wide and it its three times as wide as he thought it would be. There are lots of paving stones and also stone work walls (the river rock stuff) and now with the flower beds and the shrub plantings, the place is absolutely beautiful!!! Wish I had a cousin in the business who would do all that for me and tell me "not to worry about it"! I tell ya, between the material and labor, this must easily cost as much as my first house did!

Sorry for the long post but Mamu asked for the story and I go off on tangents sometimes!

07-10-2003, 12:37 AM
I love reading your "tangents" Tulirose! :) Awww...you didn't steal the plant, you rescued it from certain death!!!! :cool:

I'd love to see a pic of all the work that's been done at your neighbours. Is that possible? It sounds gorgeous! :)

07-10-2003, 05:06 PM
Geez! Today they had SOD put in! It looks really, really nice. I will definitely sneak a picture soon and post it. I don't think it would go over too well if I obviously take a picture and say, "oh, I'm just going to post it on the internet for people to see!"

And anyway, the work truck is still parked in front of the house blocking the view and the owners also park their cars in front too (and their van will block the view), so I will have to wait when the vehicles are gone. They are parking in the street because the driveway (the part not circled with paving stones) still needs to be blacktopped.

I noticed some astibles today too.

07-10-2003, 09:37 PM
Tuli somehow I pictured you dressed all in black, with a mask, crawling over to the neighbors in the middle of the night. LOL.

As Snowwark said you didn't pilfer you rescued.

Mamu applauds Tuli for saving those plants.

07-21-2003, 08:27 PM
I too live on Long Island and have nothing but sand. If you miss one day of watering your lawn is as good as dead. In the spring, if you want to call what we had this year spring, we got about 10 feet of rain. It stopped raining for a couple of days and my lawn started to turn brown:(

07-21-2003, 09:44 PM
Crzy4dsny I see on your countdown clock you leave for Disney in 4 days. Have a Magical Trip :).

07-22-2003, 05:11 PM
Originally posted by crzy4dsny
I too live on Long Island....... It stopped raining for a couple of days and my lawn started to turn brown:( AIN'T THAT THE TRUTH!!!!! :( Such a bummer.

Have a great time in Disney.

07-22-2003, 05:55 PM
Snowwark - Here is the photo of the house across the way. The photo does not do it justice at all.

crzy4dsny - I hope you don't recognize this house and know the owners! :eek:

<IMG width= "600" SRC="http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid71/p52a0c21b18c960f9fffbe7aed34fda90/fb99e762.jpg">

07-22-2003, 06:44 PM
Mamu & Tulirose...Thank you , I can't beleive it came up so quick. Don't worry, your secret is good with me;)

07-23-2003, 05:42 AM
I can definitely tell they've had work done, Tulirose. I'm sure by next year, things will look more mature, but it still looks good, nice and neat too! :)

Crzy4dsny, did we offically welcome you to the F&G? I'm getting on in years..lol...I don't remember. :o

If not, Welcome, it's nice to have you here with us!! :) :)

Wow, you're quickly approaching your big day. I hope you have a magical trip!! :) :)

07-23-2003, 06:08 AM
Looks good Tuli. Do they have a cement driveway with dirt in the middle or is that tinted cement?

I like the looks of the driveway, it blends in with the house. Although I don't think I would like it if it was dirt, how would they stop weeds from growing.

07-23-2003, 04:59 PM
LOL!!! Mamu - Yes, that is dirt in the middle of the pavers but that is just temporary. They are going to have that part blacktopped. You're too funny!!

Again, this picture does not do it justice. The stoop is enormous and entirely covered with pavers. The walkway up is really wide. The plants are nice too.

We did warn them to take a look across the street at their future because under the windows on the right are about four rhododendrums and on either side of those are 2 andrometers, each side. There is not enough space there for them to grow. Neighbor said he knows, he was telling the wife's cousin not to plant so many and so close to the house but the cousin said "Not to Worry". Neighbor said he is going to move them.

You cannot see the ornamental grasses, there are at least three different types. They have the purple-leafed corabells. They have yellow lilies, some astbiles. Under the window on the left is that red weeping Japanese maple that I like and there is another ornamental tree on the far right that you cannot see.

It is so nice to look at each morning.