gardening in sand - Knowledgebase Question

Las Cruces, Ne
Avatar for mseamlozano
Question by mseamlozano
July 5, 2010
I live near Las Cruces, New Mexico. We only have sand on our property. The only vegetables I can get to grow are tomatoes and plants that grow on vines. Without spending much money, how can I get other plants to grow?
Thank you.

Answer from NGA
July 5, 2010
Having only sand as a medium to grow vegetables means having to fertilize and water more, usually lots more. With the right amount of water and food, you can grow virtually any vegetable you want. But my advice is to begin adding organic matter to your sand. Lots of organic matter. Start a compost pile, ask your neighbors for lawn clippings, buy bags of peat moss or soil conditioner, grow a green manure (cover crop tilled under), and cover the ground with mulch. Organic matter is almost magical, providing a sponge for water, moderating nutrient levels, releasing beneficial humic acids into the sand, and keeping temperature levels at optimum. Organic matter in your sand will free you from having to water too much or worry about how much, how often, and what kind of fertilizer to use.

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