The Q&A Archives: Sandy Soil

Question: I purchased a house down the shore and the soil is basically sand; do I have to replace sand with top soil for any plantings and if so how much is adequate?

Answer: Generally speaking sandy soil is best improved by adding copious amounts of prganic matter such as compost rather than by adding topsoil. The reason for this is that the topsoil may not be a good match with the existing soil. The amount to add will depend on what you are planning to grow and on the quality of the existing soil. You should run some basic soil tests and then make adjustments as indicated by the results. Your County Extension (349-1247) should be able to help you with the tests and interpreting the results, and may also have suggestions of plantings shown to do well in your area.

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