Tropicals forum: Let's talk about sand!

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kinghernandez
Jun 8, 2020 2:39 PM CST
Do you you guys use fine sand as soil Improved?
I have read somewhere else that sand increases fertility but how much sand is enough?

I bought fine sand (diameter between 01mm to 2mm), I tried to see if 50% fine sand and 50% peat moss thinking to obtain a good drainage but then I got the same result of fine sand and clay soil mixed together when the soil dried out and the water barely penetrate it.

So, what diameter must be use? 1mm to 8mm?
can I still use fine sand? Like 1:80 ratio?
[Last edited by kinghernandez - Jun 8, 2020 2:43 PM (+)]
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Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Jun 9, 2020 6:42 AM CST
My natural soil here is Florida is nothing but sand. Technically it is called Myakka Fine Sand. It is what exists in the environment we live in, which is the hardwood hammock. It does get heavily amended by leaf debris from all the deciduous trees, etc.

Sand is usually not used to enrich growing substrate because it causes the soil to compact. This seems contrary to what you would think, but it doesn;t increase drainage when added to things like peat and clay, it makes them compact more.

Things that will enrich and lighten your soil are things like perlite, fir bark, horticultural charcoal, etc. Not sand
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Name: Alice
St. Johns, FL (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Master Gardener: Florida Organic Gardener Enjoys or suffers hot summers Aquaponics Hibiscus
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ardesia
Jun 9, 2020 8:32 AM CST
I agree most sand is nutrient poor. It is clay that has trace elements and minerals that provide nutrients. Most good loamy soil has a good mix of clay and sand with humus. For containers you would amend with what Gina mentioned. It is easiest to just buy a good quality commercial potting mix. I would recommend something like ProMix or Happy Frog. Recently I bought an organic mix by MiracleGro and I find it compacts too much, growth has been very poor.
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Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Jun 9, 2020 9:34 AM CST
That Miracle Gro stuff sucks to put it mildly.
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Name: Alice
St. Johns, FL (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Master Gardener: Florida Organic Gardener Enjoys or suffers hot summers Aquaponics Hibiscus
Orchids Fruit Growers Tropicals Hummingbirder Garden Photography Container Gardener
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ardesia
Jun 9, 2020 9:41 AM CST
I did not realize it was MG when I bought it, I was in a hurry tyring to maintain social distancing and it said organic. Yuck, big mistake, it was the worst. I dumped what was left in the garden, it won't hurt anything it is just not good for containers. I make a point not to use any MG products, I just messed up this time.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Jun 9, 2020 9:43 AM CST
I don;t like that so many companies are adding fertilizer to stuff now. It irks me
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Name: Alice
St. Johns, FL (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Master Gardener: Florida Organic Gardener Enjoys or suffers hot summers Aquaponics Hibiscus
Orchids Fruit Growers Tropicals Hummingbirder Garden Photography Container Gardener
Image
ardesia
Jun 9, 2020 10:55 AM CST
It also gives one a false sense of confidence. You have no idea how long that bag has been sitting in a warehouse or under what conditons before it gets to your store. Fertilizers can deteriorate over time.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.

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