Turn Sand into Garden Soil


To reduce the watering requirements of your plants, you need to look beyond the green stuff and down to the brown stuff. Drought tolerant soil is crumbly, well drained and biologically active with a decent layer of slowly decaying mulch.

Improving the health of your soil not only uses less water, but it saves you time and money, requires less chemicals and produces amazing looking plants.

Sandy Soils

Sandy Soils are free draining, can be water repellent and have limited water holding capacity. This will make watering and fertilising inefficient. The inability of sandy soils to hold onto nutrients also leads to excessive leaching into our delicate waterways.

Step 1: Remove about 150mm of sand from the garden beds.

Step 2: Add a 75mm layer of organic matter such as aged manure, compost and soil improvers on top of the garden bed. We recommend  Green Life General Concentrate as a quality soli improver.

Step 3: Add a clay based product, such as Soil Solver, to improve water penetration and retention and to give your sandy some ‘guts’. Best of all, if applied correctly, this is a once off application!

Step 4: If your sandy garden is very water repellent, add a granulated wetting agent to the area.  The soil wetter is only a temporary solution. The best way the deal with this sand in the long term is a heavy application of Soil Solver then regular applications of manures, composts and soil improvers.

Step 5: You need to get all this good stuff down into the root zone (about 40cm deep) and evenly distributed. Dig the soil improver, clay additive and wetting agent into the garden and make sure it is well mixed with the existing sand. Do not plant directly into the soil improver as the mixture may be too rich and you risk burning the root system of the plants.

Step 6: Add a slow release fertiliser with rock minerals and soil microbes such as Troforte.

Step 7: After planting, apply a 75mm layer of a free draining, quality organic mulch such as Dsatco Triple C. Remember to leave a few centimetres around the trunks of plants to allow air circulation and prevent fungal problems.

Step 8: Sit back and admire your healthy garden as it thrives and flourishes.


This is intended as general information only. Please ask one of our horticulturists for specific advice for your situation.

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