Is my soil too sandy? - Knowledgebase Question

Hollywood, Fl
Avatar for annettegarla
Question by annettegarla
May 16, 2010
I am very new to Gardening, and everything I have planted has started to grow except my Bell Peppers and Larkspurs. My husband says sand makes the roots stronger, but I am wondering if these particular two plants are not growing because the soil has sand in it?

Answer from NGA
May 16, 2010
Sandy soil drains really quickly but it doesn't hold much water or provide many nutrients for plants. If your soil is too sandy it can keep your plants from thriving. It's true that roots will grow long and deep in sandy soils, which will help anchor them in the ground, but sandy soil doesn't make for a healthy growing environment - unless you water and feed frequently. I like to amend sandy soils with lots of organic matter (compost, aged manure, etc.) to help it retain moisture. As the organic matter continues to decompose it will release nutrients to the plant's roots. Try mulching over the soil around your peppers and larkspurs with compost. This will help slow evaporation. Feed your plants with a water soluable fertilizer such as Miracle Gro. This is both a foliar feeder and a root feeder. Best wishes with your plants!

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