The Q&A Archives: sandy loam

Question: I recently bought 4 tons of sandy loam, and it wasn't what I expected. Now I have all this soil and I don't know what plants to plant with it. I have roses and flowering plants and trees, will it work for me? Also I added some of the soil to my potted flowering tree(miracle grow below and sandy loam on top), and it seems to be dying.

Answer: Most experts find the best soil combines compost with a sandy loam topsoil. You can mix your own soil blend or buy a soil that has already been mixed with compost. Mixing your own is fairly straightforward - just add compost prior to using the sandy loam. The proportions of compost and sandy loam depend upon your purpose but are generally by bulk - one part compost to three parts sandy loam. So if you want to amend a planting bed or fill a raised bed, use a bucket to measure and dump everything into a wheelbarrow so you can mix it throughly. Then empty the wheelbarrow into the bed (or over the bed if you intend to mix it into the native soil). Once amended with compost, your sandy loam will be just fine for all your plants. Best wishes with your landscape.

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