Earthlife Blog

Improving Sandy Soils

Earthlife have been helping improve sandy soils for 25 years!
The big issue we face trying to grow gardens in sand is that there is no structure. With no structure there is no moisture retention and little to no nutrient availability. And no matter how much compost we add it always disappears and we end up with just sand again. And if any organic matter does stay it becomes hydrophobic.
We may try and build structure by adding other amendments like clay to the sand. This can help by giving bulk to the soil but if we are adding a poor clay, like kaolinite, we risk creating compaction issues and still have low nutrient availability, giving us another problem that will need addressing.
Why does all this happen? Simple. It is a lack of life in the soil.
Without micro-organisms in the soil to promote the organic cycling the organic matter will simply wash away, or any amendments we add can lose their structure.
Soil bacteria and fungi create aggregates and because aggregation in general is favourable to plant growth, an evolved characteristic of plants is that they generate decay products that promote aggregation, being in the form of organic matter.
Biological life is what breaks down and decays organic matter into humus. Residues from decaying organic matter, broken down by the bacteria and fungi, attract soil particles and start to bind them with the organic matter. Fungi that help plants grow also shed their skin, releasing residues that actively bind soil particles, all of which begins to create aggregates.
The roots of fungi wrap then around these bound particles and help hold them together, creating more stable aggregates.
How can we get these processes happening?
We can keep adding organic matter and clay to our sandy soils and hope that life will eventually return, or we can add GARDEN DELIGHT with these amendments and ensure it.
Two doses, at 1 kilo per m², applied 6-8 weeks apart will start the aggregation processes. Follow up every 3 months after that and within 12 months you will have a different soil.
Loaded with essential minerals, humates and the beneficial soil microbes that create aggregation, Garden Delight will bring life and structure to sandy soils.

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