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BBC g.w. used sand in compost - why?

Norfolk, United Kingdom Gb

Hi! I'm sorry to be such a worryguts, but when the presenters planted their carrot seeds, Joe said "everyone uses sand in their compost". Why is this? Is it for better drainage, to keep the compost moist or to save money? Sorry to be so thick, but I've never done that, I always thought sand was to be abhorred in the gardening world......

Shows how little I know! Could someone enlighten me, pretty please? Lol! Thanks!



The sand referred to is SHARP sand. Easy to tell from SOFT sand in that if you can make castles with it then it is not sharp sand. It is often added to compost to increase the drainage as you correctly surmised. BUT, not everybody adds it to their compost. It depends on what you are growing. Plants which are going to be grown quickly and moved on into the soil pretty quickly do not need it. To be honest I only add sharp sand to compost if I am potting up Alpines.

27 Apr, 2009


The sand he was talking about is sharp sand. The best compost mix is 7 parts loam, 3 parts peat and 2 parts sharp sand with base fertilizers and lime or chalk. Yes, the sand is for drainage and to keep the soil open. Builders soft sand is no good at all.

27 Apr, 2009


Sorry Owdboggy, we posted at the same time.

27 Apr, 2009


At least we agree!

27 Apr, 2009


Thanks so much both of you! I did put some sand in with compost for my carrots, I feel so stupid now, I can't even remember what type of sand it was! Lol!!

27 Apr, 2009


Well if the bugs start building little castles, you'll know then, wont you? LOL.

27 Apr, 2009


i think joe is in a world of his own most of the time lol

27 Apr, 2009


hehe Llew, you're right there, and thanks Helenflower, that does make me feel better! Lol!

I found out that the sand I used was sharp sand after all, phew! Lol! Not gonna use it again tho'!

28 Apr, 2009

How do I say thanks?

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