I am making a mix for use in my seed trays using a large percentage of peat, perlite, and sand - is it o.k. to use builders sand - it is much cheaper than the GC sand - does it do the same job?



  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,088

    I use it, you want sharp sand rather than builders sand.

    It's probably not as weed seed free as GC sand should be, (but often isn't)

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,523

    It depends where it comes from - some builder's sand used to come from dredging the sea bed and contained salt which would not be good at all for seedlings.  image

    If I were you I'd try to find out where the sand comes from. 

    Good luck image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 7,614

    There is a reason to use sharp sand, rather than builders sand, but I can't remember what it is. Sorry that is not really helpful.

    Time is never time at all
    You can never ever leave
    Without leaving a piece of youth
  • GDonkey........afraid sand is for builders........not for gardenersimage

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,523

    But you can buy sharp sand from builder's merchants.

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,088

    Builders sand makes a nice paste to stick the bricks together. I think this sort comes from the sea bed

    Sharp sand has has sharper bits and better drainage. 

  • Builders sand may also have lime in it so it might depend where you want to put.

    Builders sand should be ok if you mix it with plenty of organic matter.

    Discussions on Builders sand and sharp sand the pros and cons have gone for years. If it were me I would try some in a part of the garden where you dont have any "cherished" plants and see what happens.  I know a couple of gardeners who always use it because it is cheaper and they dont have a problem with it. 

  • ZenjeffZenjeff Newcastle Upon Tyne Posts: 549

    Big no to builders sand if buying from a builders merchant ask if there sharp sand is washed and use this cheaper than horticultural sand 

  • I have now purchased a bag of sharp sand from the builders yard and what a difference in this compared with the heavier builders sand that I was using before. I feel a bit more confident with this sharp sand as it is much lighter in texture. None of my seeds had germinated whilst using the builders sand and I feel that I have lost a month of seed sowing work in the GH.

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