Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Using Sand in place of Vermiculite

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Using Sand in place of Vermiculite

Post  bonnie0128 on 3/21/2010, 5:07 pm

Does anyone have experience with using sand instead of vermiculite? I want to expand my beds this year but just can't afford the vermiculite. I read in a couple other similar books that sand can be used to help keep the soil loose. I was thinking about doing one bed with sand or pulling some dirt from my beds from last year and mixing in sand then dividing it between all the beds (so all would have some sand and some vermiculite). I've seen sand on closeout (due to broken bags) quite often at home depot - so it would be much cheaper.
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Re: Using Sand in place of Vermiculite

Post  camprn on 3/21/2010, 5:16 pm

I heard a fellow on the Ralph Snodsmith show just this morning say do not use sand, but if you insist on adding something like that FOR DRAINAGE purposes use a small peastone, not sand. Sand will offer nothing of nutritional value to your garden. Try to get your hands on more compost. Just my $0.02 cents.
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Re:Using Sand in place of Vermiculite

Post  rds1955 on 3/21/2010, 5:17 pm

@bonnie0128 wrote:Does anyone have experience with using sand instead of vermiculite? I want to expand my beds this year but just can't afford the vermiculite. I read in a couple other similar books that sand can be used to help keep the soil loose. I was thinking about doing one bed with sand or pulling some dirt from my beds from last year and mixing in sand then dividing it between all the beds (so all would have some sand and some vermiculite). I've seen sand on closeout (due to broken bags) quite often at home depot - so it would be much cheaper.

According to the Book, Mel states that Vermiculite not only helps keep the soil loose and friable but also helps hold water/moisture in the mix... Sand can keep it loose, but won't hold the moisture...
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