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Sharp sand vs Grit/ horticultural sand

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  • kapernakaperna Posts: 12
    Thank you everyone for sharing your thoughts and experience, much appreciated . 
    We have a waterlogged clay soil. Will try to use compost and 10 mm graded grit (this is what available from B&Q in small bags) to improve drainage .
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 7,674
    If you need a lot it might be better to have big bags delivered. Don't forget that on wet soil you can't just improve pockets of soil to plant in - that will just make sumps that will fill up with water - you need to improve the whole area then plant into it.
  • kapernakaperna Posts: 12
     @JennyJ - thank you.

    Me back again - looking for your advise please. What is the best option to purchase to improve soil and  use for beds and pots. A local supplier have the following option; Loam soil ( a sand soil and compost mix)  ,  at £40.00 each and /or organic compost at £35.00 each , these come in a builder 900kg bag? 
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 7,674
    I've never bought in soil so I can't really advise you from personal experience. I have sandy soil so I wish I could swap you a couple of tons!  I only know about sand and grit 'cos I get asked to fetch both for my Dad who doesn't drive.

    Is the organic compost potting compost (like you get in bags from garden centres, usually based on something like peat, coir or composted bark, with added fertilisers) or compost purely from rotted-down plant material like you'd make in a compost bin?  The former would be fine for containers. The latter would be great for soil improvement but with heavy soil you might want grit as well.  The loam soil would be good for filling raised beds.
  • DampGardenManDampGardenMan Posts: 1,054
    kaperna said:
    A local supplier have the following option; Loam soil ( a sand soil and compost mix)  ,  at £40.00 each and /or organic compost at £35.00 each , these come in a builder 900kg bag? 
    If at all possible, go and see the stuff first, and see what it's like. It's amazing what rubbish is sold as "loam" or "top soil". Ask around too and see what sort of reputation the supplier has. Expect lots of weeds to appear when you spread out whatever you buy!
  • kapernakaperna Posts: 12
    @DampGardenMan
    OMG, I will probably stay away from them then and stick to the shops.
    They do sell via Facebook 
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 7,674
    To be fair it's pretty difficult to ensure that topsoil or compost is completely free of seeds whatever the source (even your own homemade compost, or in my case especially my homemade compost). 
  • I've seen surplus builder's sand being thrown out recently, including builder's sharp sand, so it wouldn't be despoiling the environment to make use of it - if it could be of value horticulturally! I wonder if adding it to the compost heap might help get rid of impurities?
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 9,860
    What 'impurities' do you have in your compost heap?

    The short answer is  - no.
    Whatever goes in your compost bin should be compostable otherwise it's not breaking down and generating the necessary heat.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,002
    I think they mean impurities in the sand @Pete.8, rather than the compost bin  ;)

    The trouble with any building sand @2222222222222222 is that you need to be sure what it is. The wrong stuff is useless and causes problems if you have clay soil  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


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