There are many types of growing mediums in which plants and vegetables prefer to grow, and one of them is sandy soil. It’s made up of 60% sand and clay. The core feature of sandy soil is the efficient draining system.
For starters, an efficient draining system is like the holy grail for most plants but not for vegetables. This is because significant nutrients will go with the water as they drain, leaving the plants underfed.
Nevertheless, sandy soil has some other advantages for itself too. The soil composition of sandy soil makes it easier to dig and plant. It also warms up very fast, so you can start planting earlier in the season.
With that being said, the crucial question here is:
Can Vegetables Grow In Sandy Soil?
Vegetables can grow in sandy soil even though it drains water quickly. The texture of sandy soil is light and very loosely structured, making it highly porous and therefore excellent soil for the vegetables to have a good root movement.
So, if you have sandy soil in your garden, don’t get rid of it because it only requires a specific makeover to transform it into the perfect vegetable growing medium.
Sandy soil feels gritty, and it dries out fast, mainly due to its draining system. It’s easy to cultivate sandy soil.
Despite there being not a lot of plant species that survive in sandy soil. Those plants that thrive in such soils are the standard everyday veggies that we need so much. They appear on everyone’s shopping lists several times a week and we cannot do without them.
Further, they are extraordinarily nutritional, easy to cook, and versatile enough to suit many recipes – plus they’re low maintenance to grow!
How To Deal With Sandy Soil?
Honestly, sandy soil is difficult to deal with and can be frustrating if you want to have wider varieties of plants to grow. But there’s always a solution to a problem, and that is a soil amendment. Soil adjustments improve the ability of the soil to retain water and increase the nutrients in the ground.
The main enemy you have against sandy soil is that it doesn’t retain moisture that long, which is why nutrients are not fully invested in the plants. Luckily, sandy soil amendments are already available to improve the soil and increase the number of vegetables you can grow.
Here’s what you should do:
• Put well-rotted manure or compost
They will ultimately improve sandy soil because well-rotted manure or compost is an organic fertilizer rich in nutrients like nitrogen. Since sandy soil does not have many nutrients in it, putting manure or compost helps normalize the nutrients present in sandy soil.
• Put vermiculite or peat
Please do not stop adding manure or compost because they do improve the nutrients, it is just not sure that they help improve the water retention in the soil. The answer to that by adding vermiculite or peat because they are known for their water retention abilities. Take note that they only retain moisture and not nutrients, so you should put them alongside manure or compost together in the sandy soil for better chances.
• Observe soil salinity
Manure or compost contains high levels of salt, which could be a problem for some vegetables if left untreated. Use plant-based compost or sphagnum peat because they have the lowest levels of salt.
It might be a lot of work, but you have to trust the process. It will not be much of a problem anymore if you get used to it. Besides, it is also difficult to resist those lovely vegetables from growing at their best.
Vegetables That Grow In Sandy Soil
Since there are only limited vegetables that can thrive in sandy soil, it is best to know all of them to prevent waste if you happen to grow a vegetable that does’nt work well in sandy soil. The majority of vegetables that grow in sandy soil are deep-rooted because they can tolerate the sand’s gritty and loose texture.
These Veggies Thrive in Sandy Soil:
Sandy soil makes it possible for the taproots of the carrots to penetrate the ground. In short, sandy soil is the best growing medium for carrots, and you will find long tubers of carrots growing that you don’t usually see in clay soils.
Aside from that, carrots prefer sandy soil because they do not hold moisture, preventing the roots from rotting. But they also love moisture as dryness can weaken them. Thus, you better water them regularly enough for the carrots to survive.
Like carrots, radishes are another taproot vegetable that needs to penetrate the ground. This is why radishes are perfect for growing in sandy soils because they can penetrate the soil easily. Sandy soil is very malleable, and all deep-rooted vegetables find it a suitable growing medium.
Another vegetable on the list is potatoes. They grow well in sandy soils not just because they are root crops but mainly because sandy soil is acidic. Potatoes grow well in acidic soil because it eliminates the possibility of scab.
Lettuce can tolerate the dryness of sandy soil, which makes it an ideal vegetable to grow in sandy soil. But it does not mean they do not need regular water because they do need it. Do not let your soil completely dry out because it is harmful not just to lettuce alone but to all types of vegetables.
The ubiquitous tomato needs a growing medium with a well-drained system, so that makes it a perfect match with sandy soils. Also, tomatoes love warm environments, and sandy soil is capable of giving that.
6. Zucchini (aka Courgette or Baby Marrows)
Zucchini is known as the summer crop because it can grow in warm and well-drained soil. However, they need a lot of nutrients, so you have to feed them with fertilizers but only regularly. Once you get ahold of it, you will enjoy an abundant harvest of such healthy vegetables.
Beans do prefer well-drained soil, but they also need a lot of nutrients to survive. Adding a proper amount of compost or fertilizer will do the work. You can harvest the maximum amount of beans if you provide them with enough nutrients despite growing them in sandy soil.
Cucumbers thrive in well-drained soil, but they do need regular water for a greater yield. That means you can plant them in sandy soil, but they have to be given water and other essential nutrients. Most importantly, they need the support of trellis so they can grow upwards and avoid them spreading on the ground.
Onions also love a warm environment and can grow in sand. They grow beneath the surface of the ground. The structure of sandy soil makes it easy for them to grow.
Like an onion, garlic can also be grown in sand and like a warm environment. You can grow any variety of garlic in sandy soils. Be sure to provide them with all the essential nutrients and water.
There are still vegetables that you can grow in sandy soil, which were not included in the list.
In sandy soil, you can grow herbs like:
Other veggies grown in sandy soils include:
Now You Know – Grow the Daily Essentials in Sany Soil!
So now you’re fully equipped to grow Veggies (and a couple of Herbs) in Sandy Soil. Looking at the list, these vegetables are ones that we need and use every day so we cannot be without them. Let that be your motivation to get the right sandy soil and start growing some of the essential veggies (and herbs) that we need on a daily basis!
When you grow these veggies they will reward you many times over – enjoy!