Sandy Soil Problems - Knowledgebase Question

Ruskin, FL
Question by acouncil
August 16, 1998
We just moved to a new home and I am planning my fall vegtable garden. Our soil is very sandy and I'm not sure what I should add to improve it. Any ideas?


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Answer from NGA
August 16, 1998

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The very best thing to add is compost. Composted organic matter helps the soil hold water and nutrients better while maintaining good drainage. It also provides a natural source of nutrient as it continues to break down over time. Check with local nurseries and soil yards to see what types of compost are available in your area. You can usually find it by the bag, which is more expensive but easier to handle for small raised bed area, or by the cubic yard, which is less expensive and may be delivered to your home.

If you can mix compost 30 to 50% with your native soil, that should be a good mix for the garden. So, adding 3 inches of compost to the surface and mixing it into the top 3 to 6 inches of soil would be great.

Good luck wiht your new garden!

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