Sandy soil, which plants are best?

A few plants thrive on sandy soil but most don't.

Sandy soil is both poor in nutrients and cannot retain moisture.
But sand does have major advantages when it comes to growing certain vegetables and heath plants.

But growing from soil that is almost exclusively sand can be a real hindrance for plant development.

Here are the precautions that can be taken to turn dry, poor sandy soil into a rich and fertile growing plot.

Sandy soil

It is light and easy to work.
Most of the time it stays dry, because in winter sand drains quickly, and in summer sand can dry to the point of becoming arid if not watered.

What plants can grow in sandy soil?

Acid-loving plants

Sandy soil tends to be acidic and suits certain plants perfectly, such as camellia, rhododendron, azalea, hydrangea and also gorse.

Other plants will also settle in perfectly such as the beautiful Lily of the Nile or grape vines that are used to growing in light and sandy soil.

Plants that love high drainage

Some soft-stemmed plants hate wet soil. They thrive in soil where water drains away fast.

Vegetables in sandy soil

Of course, carrots grow very well in sandy soil, even if there is nothing but sand.

Other vegetables can tolerate high sand ratios, as long as there is some other organic material.

How can sandy soil be amended?

Even seaside sand can be enhanced to grow plants.Usually, soil, wherein most of the matter is sand, is very poor. It doesn’t suit most plants at all.

There are several ways to make it richer:

  • Regularly add organic matter.
    Favor natural sources such as compost, manure, seaweed or soil mix.
  • Ramial wood chips are reputed to be the best possible natural amendment.
  • Add garden soil to make your soil denser, and more welcoming to most other plants.
  • Water regularly as soon as the soil is dry.
    It is important to water in the evening in a reduced quantity, to avoid evaporation.

Read also on soil

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Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Water in plant (also on social media) by Santa under Pixabay license
Sand and grass by Stocksnap under Pixabay license