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Soil and Sand

London, United Kingdom Gb

We decided to make our garden a bit less boring by putting some curves into the lawn. We spent hours digging the turf up and turning the compacted soil. However, we soon found that as we got down to a spade's depth we were turning up pure sand. Builder's sand. A lot of the sand is now mixed in with the top soil and there is still a thick layer underneath it. Is there any solution to this apart from digging out the entire bed and buying top soil to replace it! I don't know of any plants that would grow in the soil now. the big problem with digging out the soil is disposing of it.



Don,t know if it makes a difference being builders sand but sandy soil is easy to work and heat up and cool down quicky but tend to be free draining and lose nutrients quickly.
you could add plenty of organic matter and fertiliser.
still plenty of plants that will grow there.

2 Oct, 2009


When I dug a border by the front of the house I came upon a plastic bag which i pulled - it contained a complete bag of builders sand!! The roses love that corner and seem to do really well - but like usernut says add plenty of manure and they will thrive.

2 Oct, 2009


You have to be a bit wary of some builders' sand, as it can contain salt - which could kill your plants.

Yes, I'd agree, dig in lots of well-rotted manure and home-made compost!

2 Oct, 2009


When I dug the foundations for an extension in our previous house we too found pure sand. So pure we actually used it to make the concrete for the foundations.
If it is well below the surface and has been there a while then there should be no trouble with salt, it will have washed out. Agreed about adding as much organic material as posible. Also would suggest doing a sol test to find out the pH level. If it is a sandy soil then they do tend to be rather acid due to leaching and you adding organic material will increase the acidity. You may need to add lime depending on what you want to grow.
And before people say anything, we had to add lime to get our soil up to a level where we could grow Rhododendrons even, it was too acidic even for them!

2 Oct, 2009


you are spot on Owdbogy,I was going to put my two penath in but you have said it all,

2 Oct, 2009


We live in a very sandy area, the badgers love it. We used the sand with cement to build greenhouse walls, the sand contained urine which made the walls green with algae. What did you do with the turf you cut back?, you could dig it in a spit, taking out any perrenial weeds.
As already said, lots of compost, if you can aquire some pig manure, digging in now will give good results next year.

2 Oct, 2009


I am with you Owdboggy soil test will help decide what to do next. Soil testing kits are not expensive and sold in garden centres.

2 Oct, 2009


Thank you all so much for replying. I shal take your advice, which is going to be much easier than digging out all of the soil. We'll go to the garden centre tomorrow and buy a soil testing kit and more bags of manure.

3 Oct, 2009

How do I say thanks?

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