Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Some Crops That Grow in Sandy Soil

Related imageFood will always be needed all over the world and the best places to grow food is in fertile land full of good black soil that is soft and full of nature’s nutrients. Well, that kind of soil just isn’t available everywhere so compromises must be made. Sometimes all we have is a sandy soil that can just run through your fingers. Can we grow crops in such an environment? Your first instinct would be to say no but then you would be wrong. In fact there are certain crops that actually thrive in a sandy soil. Growing food is difficult work anyway and we need to know the best crop to grow in a particular environment.

The basic rule is to choose a root crop like carrots or parsnips, and potatoes that favor a sandy soil however it is also possible with care to grow lettuce, strawberries, corn, peppers, zucchini, squash, tomatoes and collard greens. Why does that sound like just about everything? Because it is.  Commercial farmers feel that it is safer to grow just about anything in a sandy soil because the water drainage is better. In the spring when they plant their seeds they do not want their crops to be too wet from the early rains and rot the roots especially for a crop like asparagus which is one of the first vegetables to sprout each year. Care must be taken to prevent root rot and sandy soil lets the water flow out.
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Sandy soil is also good in the winter. Rye is often planted as a winter cover crop to prevent erosion during the wet winter months. Cereal rye is a deep rooted food and will hold up to the weather conditions in a sandy soil to allow drainage but not erosion of the valuable soil.  When having raspberries and blueberries that are in bushes that grow each year, you must remember to water the bushes   regularly   in the hot summer months in order to receive the maximum in size of berries that need lots of water to increase in berry size yield. In this case irrigation is a necessity for these types of bushes.

The advantages to sandy soil is the drainage for radishes and beets roughly top rooted plants. Herbs that need good drainage thrive in sandy soil. Root rot that plagues farmers in a clay soil is nonexistent in sandy soil. No Phytophthora for you. Sandy soil has the biggest particles in it that make good for drainage and aeration. It is granular and consists of rock and mineral products. The texture is gritty and is formed by the disintegration and weathering of limestone, granite, quartz and shale. Sandy soil is easier to cultivate if it is rich in organic material. It is much easier to work with when it has some moisture. Apparently sandy soil is the preferred type of soil to work with by farmers since they cultivate such a variety of vegetables and berries in this type of soil.

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