Welcome Earthlings. I wanted to address adding sand to your soil today, specifically due to the “common wisdom” surrounding this move. Common wisdom says don’t do it, and I actually agree with that when it comes to soil in the ground. Like trying to use sand to combat clay. This move doesn’t work; for sure not on red clay, I can say personally. 30 years ago, we thought that it worked.
I have run tests on this in containers, side by side, many times with different levels of sand. Let me start out by saying I’m not certain what all exactly the sand brings to the table, but I know for sure it is very good when used as I recommend in this article.
Your sand source matters—a lot! Sand free of bullshit of any kind is what you want. No beach sand, or playground sand. Clean river sand works well. Also, theoretically speaking, I’m fairly sure you COULD use beach sand, if you flushed it with fresh water, very well. You would (theoretically) gather this sand from about 1 foot of water in the ocean. You only need gather small amounts.
Guidelines for Adding Sand to Your Soil
Like I said, adding sand to your outdoor garden soil is not really worthwhile; especially as an anti-clay move. There is already a very high proportion of small mineral particles in soil from the ground. Unless you live in an old growth forest. However, in bagged soil or custom soil you use for containers, there are almost no small mineral particles, percentage-wise, by compare. Adding sand to your soil—just a little bit—when that soil is uber high in organic matter, is for sure a winning move, in my experience. 100%.
The recipe is very simple. Per 1 cubic foot (6 gallons) of bagged or custom soil, you add ½ cup of clean sand. Make sure the soil is moist not wet, just so the sand sticks to it, and mix it well.
That’s all you have to do. It is ready to rock and roll immediately. I for sure encourage you to try this yourself if you doubt it, add sand to your soil for some of your plants, and don’t for others. You’ll see the difference yourselves. More sand doesn’t seem to do any better, so stick to the recipe; and do some experimenting of your own if you like.
If you grow in raised beds or dig holes and fill them with soil mix. You should always mix in some of the native earth with your new soil mix; just a little bit. This allows soil equilibrium to happen faster. Doing this does in fact add sand to your soil already, due to the “sandy” composition of most (90%) ground soils.
Adding Greensand IS Adding Sand to Your Soil
If you have access to greensand, use it just as above. Same recipe exactly. Below I’ll show you how to add one more thing to your bagged soil that will give it a big boost, along with the greensand. Greensand is like, sand-plus. It packs a wide array of great nutrient elements. Macro, micro/trace, and secondary nutrients. The greatest contributions are the big K (potassium) bump, and the iron. Almost all sand is rich in mineral elements, but greensand is FAT-FAT with them; and, has slow, long-term K—in spades.
Not only does greensand have that magical sand element, whatever that is. Perhaps it balances bio-electrical currents in the Dark Matter of the soil, heh heh. But it also adds slow-release potassium, silicon, iron, magnesium, calcium, etc. This is KEYSTONE to an all-natural style. There are many other all-natural ways to get these nutrients, but greensand is like a cornucopia of them.
Online especially, you will find a lot of peeps who think you should never add sand to your soil for growing plants, period. That is wildly inaccurate, and needs context, I think. If you grow in containers using bagged or custom soil, it’s like 90% organic matter, or more. Adding a little sand (especially greensand) is very obviously (to me) beneficial in a big way, to this type of soil. Just a little will matter a lot. ½ cup of sand per cubic foot of soil.
Bonus No-Cooking Mix for a Bag of Soil
I will make this recipe per cubic foot, of moist soil.
- As above, you add sand to your soil; greensand, specifically. ½ cup is all you need. Additionally, add ½ cup of crab meal. Mix it all up well, and it is ready to rock. Everything in it you have added is slow release, and very microbial-friendly. Especially the crab meal, and its awesome quantities of calcium, nitrogen, and phosphorus. No “cooking” (fast composting) needed here. The soil is ready once mixed up well.
You’ll see a nice little boost in production with these additions. To add to like, a bag of Ocean Forest soil, which comes in 1.5 cubic foot (9 gallon) bags, you simply multiply the recipe accordingly. It would be ¾ cup of sand and ¾ cup crab meal, rather than ½ cups of each. This makes primo soil for recycling—FYI. You have slow nutrient values that continue to become available well after a single run.
Rev’s Tips for Adding Sand to Your Soil
What I noticed specifically about results when using sand were faster and healthier growth, greener growth, and my water usage went up ever so slightly as well. What it does mostly, is a full-on overall enhancement of the plants/soil. The plants are heartier, and have greater resistances to things. Buds from soil with sand added were larger by a tad, and denser. My neighbor’s overall yields went up by about 10% from just the simple move of adding the river sand to his Ocean Forest soil.
If you are a simple/commercial soil home grower, and you use bagged soil. Try this easy move, it doesn’t take extra space, no composting (cooking) involved, and it makes a decent sized difference. The greensand/crab recipe is a pretty complete and broad-spectrum addition of nutrients. Add some alfalfa top dressings along the way and you could harvest killer plants in 4-gallon containers, under like 400-watt lights, using just good water. Or, some cool water tweaks even, check this out: True Living Cannabis Water – Skunk Magazine.
Alrightythen, y’all keep the shiny side up and the dirty side down now. I’ll catch ya back here at SKUNK next Tuesday for another article. If you are looking for some cool sexually healthy seeds that are organically bred, visit Kingdom Organic Seeds – True Living Organically Grown amigos. L8r G8rs…
- REv 😊
I'm The Rev, and I have been with SKUNK for about a decade now. I hail from Southern California, spent mucho time in Northern California, and now reside in Southern Oregon; always coastal. I am an all natural style cannabis grower and I have written a couple books on the subject - check out True Living Organics 2nd Edition on Amazon - I have been growing for over 45 years, and I have been breeding cannabis for over 30 years. Check out kingdomorganicseeds.com to see some exotic selections. Growing connoisseur cannabis is what I teach mostly, growing it in living soil without using liquid organic nutrients to feed the plant. I am also a highly skilled synthetics grower, hydroponics, aeroponics, DWC/SWC/NFT, Ebb and Flow, and soilless, but I cringe when smoking synthetic grown herbs, so for the last 15 years or so I preach the artisan style of all natural growing, specializing in container growing. Cheers and welcome aboard.