Hooray for summer!
It is right in the middle of our growing season and we are thrilled about it!! Green-thumbs, sudo-green-thumbs and try hards alike are all running around like busy bees trying to keep everything in their yards green and healthy. Hoses are stretched across lawns running into gardens and green houses making sure all our precious little veggies and flowers have enough water and food to get through these summer heat waves.
If your garden is anything like ours though, you will water it for an hour or so just to return a short while later, only to find that it is dry again!!
Our soil at home is super sandy. I don't mean that it is a little bit sandy I mean it is ALOT SANDY. Like so many places in beautiful southern Alberta where we live, the soil can be very touch and go from location to location on its quality as well as ability to support growing plants.
Sandy soil isn't the end of gardening as you know it but if your garden soil looks something like this,--------------------------------------->>>>>>>>>>>>>>
We are going to give you a few pointers on how to combat your sahara growing conditions.
Believe it or not there are some benefits to sandy soil!
First of all, if you have really high levels of sand, it means you probably have really good drainage. All gardens need to be able to drain water to promote healthy roots. Unless your plant species are aqua born, roots need to be able to breath air or they suffocate.
So as annoying as sandy soil is, at least you are at a starting point of excellent drainage!!
So how do i fix this??
There are a few fixes that you can dot change your soil from looking like a sandbox, to resembling a bag of horticulturist created mulch!
The easiest fix is to just add plain old compost to your garden or green space. the only issue is that to turn soil from sand to mulch requires a great deal of compost and quite a bit of time. It will take you 2-3 seasons of adding 4-8 inch layers of compost to your garden and mixing it all together at the beginning of the year to change the composition of your soil. This process takes a few years to be able to give your soil a chance to settle for you to work out any kinks and lumps.
OR, you can do this!!
This solution is called Hugelkultur.
Yes I spelled correctly and no I'm not sure how to pronounce it properly. This method involves burying large masses of wood beneath your garden. It sounds funny at first, but it makes a lot of sense. Forests work on this principal. That is to promote new growth on top of old growth.
It truly is that simple, bury wood beneath your soil and allow your soil and compost the wood for as long as it takes. The rotting wood will hold lots of water for your plants as well as share their nutrients with your new crop of veggies and flowers.
Poplar works great as a wood for this type of solution! Other woods that work well are alders, apple, aspen, birch, maple, oak, poplar, and willow. Just make sure that if you use will that it is dead or you will start to sprout willow trees!!
Whatever you fix to get rid of your sand we with you luck!
Don't fret if your garden is sandy right now, though. Water at least once a day and give the garden some natural fertilizers at least once every 3 weeks and you will be surprised how well you are growing in your garden!!
Always Be Creating
Matt and Layne