Sandy soil in vegetable garden - Knowledgebase Question

Fridley, Mi
Question by aliciascol
June 3, 2010
We have a large vegetable garden that we tested the soil before planting. PH at 6.5 and treated with potassium, nitrogen, phosphorus in the right amounts. It was great black soil and plants were going great, but now that 6 weeks have gone by there is sand on top of everything and some of our plants are starting to die. What can we do to fix the soil and keep plants from dying?

Answer from NGA
June 3, 2010


Soil is a composition of sand, silt and clay. Sand is the largest particle and for some reason is rising to the top of your garden. I don't know whether it's because you're flooding the soil when you water and floating it to the top, or you mixed in too much compost and it has decomposed or settled. Whatever the reason, the sand won't kill your plants. In fact, it helps with drainage. A pH of 6.5 is perfect for vegetables. So, there's something else going on with your plants. Water stress or a disease. In general, veggies need about an inch of water per week, applied slowly so it trickles down and wets the entire root system. Then the top of the soil should be allowed to dry out before watering again. You might want to monitor your watering, making sure you're providing enough to soak down past the roots but then allowing the top half inch to inch dry out between waterings. Hope this fixes the problem!

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