I want to garden despite sandy soil!

Asked March 17, 2019, 4:48 PM EDT

We’ve lived in our home (with a giant yard!) for 8 years now. Every year I try to garden, and every time I fail. Our backyard is about 90% sand. I can’t get anything to grow and I desperately want a vegetable garden. Our front yard is not a great alternative, because although it is much less sandier, it is almost entirely shade. We barely get any sunlight and I can only grow hostas which grow right next to the house in dirt I added to the sandy soil. Any suggestions for how I can have a successful vegetable garden? I would like it to be quite large to accommodate our family! :)

Kent County Michigan vegetable gardenning in sandy soil sandy soil gardening

1 Response

Healthy, fertile soil is the most important part of successful gardening. It is always advisable to test your soil so you know best how to improve it. And full sun is a must for vegetable growing.

To improve sandy soil:
  1. Work in 3 to 4 inches of organic matter such as well-rotted manure or finished compost.
  2. Mulch around your plants with leaves, wood chips, bark, hay or straw. Mulch retains moisture and cools the soil.
  3. Add at least 2 inches of organic matter each year. Over time your sand will become a more loamy soil which retains moisture.
  4. Grow cover crops or green manures over winter and till them into your sandy soil in the spring before planting your vegetables.
The links below will give you additional information re. how to improve your soil.