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The soil in my only border is very sandy and does not hold the water, what can I do to improve it please ?


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,167

    Hi Bridget2 image

    Repeated applications of rotted farmyard manure and home made garden compost and leaf mould will do the job - we too have what I like to call 'free draining sandy loam' image  which is also very dry because of large trees on our perimeter - in the four years we've been here repeated applications of organic matter has improved it a lot and from having no worms at all we now have a healthy population and the ground is more like soil than sand and doesn't need watering quite as often image

    Hope that helps image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • lydiaannlydiaann Posts: 298

    I agree with Dove...and when you think you have put enough in, then add as much again each time.  Also, mulch round plants to help to keep the water from evaporating.

  • Bridget2Bridget2 Posts: 31

    Thank you everyone I shall try the seaweed as we are close to the beach.Also I will keep an eye open for farmyard manure.We get inundated with slugs and snails so maybe seaweed would be best. I do put bark chippings around the plants.

  • Mel MMel M Posts: 347

    I too have very fine soil on my allotment. Each year, for three years, I have used stable manure at each end of the season, loads of home compost (4 large units) and chicken manure pellets which are binded with clay throughout the season. If it has improved the moisture retaining properties of the soil I have yet to notice it. We have recently had real downpours. Following these, I planted out some lettuce and the soil felt just a little damp!! My hose is always to hand.

  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601

    I asked my neighbour how he had made our (very heavy clay) soil so friable and rich. He listed all of the above but he recommended doing it for forty years. I am almost up to thirty, now, and he was quite right! Just keep on keeping on.....

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,585

    The "soil" at my last house was , quite literally, 12" of builders sand.

    In the 9 years I was there I raised the surface level by 9" by constantly adding compost.

    Ask neighbours for unwanted grass clippings and anything else you can to get your hands on.

    In Autumn, gather as many leaves as you can. 

    If there's a tree lined street nearby, you'll find lots of bags of leaves left for the council. Ask the homeowners if you can have some?

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