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Reasons To Add Sand To Your Topsoil In Your Yard

by April Carlson

If you've bought a new house, it's no surprise if you want to make over the yard with new grass, a garden and other landscaping. In order for any of that to actually thrive, you'll need to have prime growing conditions. One of the best ways to ensure that is to create your own topsoil mixture amended with sand for sufficient aeration. If you've never used sand in your topsoil, you may wonder what purpose it really serves. Here are several ways that sand can help you with your landscaping when it's mixed into your topsoil.

Establishing Air Pockets

When you mix coarse sand granules into your soil, it helps to establish more small air pockets in the soil mixture. These air pockets provide passageways for plant roots to successfully reach nutrients, oxygen and water. In addition, those sand granules will also help to encourage water drainage in the soil. The drainage is improved because of the coarse granules. They offer just enough substance to prevent the soil from compacting or getting over-saturated with water.

If this is the kind of result you're looking for, you should invest in something like builder's yellow sand. Any material of this texture will be large enough in size to serve this purpose. Avoid using products such as white sand or play sand, though. Those are fine granules that will actually leave the soil mixture unstable.

Conditioning The Soil

Whether you're starting with a commercial topsoil mix alone or you're working the material into your existing soil in your yard, adding some sand to the mixture will help you to loosen up dense, heavy soil. This is particularly important if you're trying to create a vegetable garden where you'll need to have space for the roots to grow. Soil that's too dense won't permit root growth through the compacted, tight spaces. In addition, you're likely to end up with dry spots that rob the roots of water and nutrients.

The best way to combat this and produce soil that your vegetables can thrive in is to mix roughly one part sand to two parts topsoil. The goal is to create a mixture that's well balanced and evenly distributed. Just make sure that it isn't more sand than topsoil, because that will lead to poor water retention. The roots of vegetables will need sufficient water for proper growth, so use the sand as a supplement in the soil, not the main component.

Enhancing The Chances of Seed Germination

If you mix coarse sand into topsoil, it may also help you to improve the germination rate of things with smaller seeds. Large sand granules help to create a barrier that holds the seeds where you put them. That way, they do not fall down into the soil and get lost, which can keep them out of the sunlight and hinder germination.

The topsoil itself is great for the necessary nutrients to help your garden flourish, but seeds like bean and pepper varieties are small and can easily get lost in that kind of planting material. By adding sand that will support those seeds, you get the best of both of worlds.

Whether you're just looking to grow a full lawn or you want to plant a garden, having the right topsoil mix is important. With the information here, you can also understand the benefits of adding coarse sand to your topsoil mixture. Talk with a local landscaper today to find the right topsoil and sand mixture for whatever you're hoping to grow. He or she can even give you tips for the proper way to mix the sand throughout the soil so that you achieve your goal.