Gardening is a rewarding hobby. Unfortunately, not all of us are blessed with fertile soil. Many of us live in dry locations with high sand-content. As you know, sand particles are microscopically large. They cannot hold as much water. Organic matter is also limited in sandy soils. Even then there is hope. There are some solutions that can be employed to successfully establish a good garden in light soils.
Though most plants grow best in soil a healthy loam, there are ones that do well in sandy soil. You can try to plant your garden with cacti and other succulents. They store water in their leaves or stems. If you prefer edible plants, root vegetables such as carrots and radishes are worth trying. Potatoes also thrive in acidic conditions that sandy soil provides. Watermelon which is a native of southern Africa can also be planted in loamy sand.
Improving Soil Structure
Mixing sandy soil with clay can improve its ability to retain water and nutrients. Soil will hold more moisture for a longer period of time, meaning you will use much less water. To promote plant growth, humus levels need to be built by adding soil with organic matter. Microbes will then turn it into nutrients. Better soil structure will develop over time. These days, compost machines are available in the market that you can use to turn leaves, grass cuttings, or kitchen waste into compost.
Sand Hydroponic System
Due to its advantages, sand is one type of growing media that is often used in hydroponic systems. An automatic system can be built by utilizing small sand beds. A pump that is controlled by a timer can be employed to distribute water and nutrients to the plants. In a wick system, two pots are used. One pot is filled with growing medium (sand) and the plant. The other pot acts as a nutrient reservoir. Inside the system is a fibrous wick that moves nutrient solution from the reservoir to the growing pot as the sand dries out. This system works through capillary action. Think about the rapid wetting and retention of liquids by absorbent paper and fabrics.
When it comes to sandy soil, there is no one magic solution. Different things will work for different people. One thing is sure, sandy soil is not a curse. There are always ways to successfully grow plants in high sand-content soil