Organic Farming: How to Improve Sandy Soil



Similar to gardens and yards, some farmers are blessed with good soil and some are not. That should not stop you from pursuing your dreams of beginning your journey in organic farming. You can still grow organic and healthy produce as long as you know how to amend your soil. There are different types of soils—too sandy, too clay-like, too stony, and too acidic. Each of these has a remedy but for now, let’s focus on sandy soil and the amendments it needs.

Sandy soil is considered to be bad soil to plant vegetation, fruits, herbs, or any plants at all. It’s a bit like growing a garden in the middle of a desert. There are too many air spaces between the sand particles because sandy soil is made up of large and irregularly shaped bits of rock. It cannot retain water because of this characteristic. Water tends to drain very quickly in sandy soil.

And as often what happens in soil that cannot hold the water, the nutrients drain with it, too. The plants do not have the chance to absorb the nutrients the water brought. And because it drains much too quickly and easily, the soil becomes too coarse for farming. Sandy soils are nutrient-poor, which doesn’t make it the ideal ground for organic farming.

Solution

Yet, there is a solution to this. You can mix in three to four inches of organic matter such as well-rotted manure or finished compost. You can buy this from a local garden shop or you can make compost on your own. It will take months to make compost, though, so you may want to skip this and just buy from a trusted supplier. If you have a pretty big farm, however, it makes sense to make it yourself.

You can also surround your plants and trees with leaves, wood chips, hay, straw, and bark. These will retain the moisture provided by water. They also cool the soil, allowing it to house more varieties of plants and flowers. You can add at least two inches of organic matter each year. Make sure to check the quality of the soil regularly, so you don’t lose any of the products you are trying to grow.

While it takes a lot of time and effort to transform sandy soil, there is a foolproof solution to the problem. As long as you keep to the schedule of putting the organic matter in your soil, it should be fine for organic farming.

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