When it comes to landscaping in New England, it pays to know what type of soil you have, especially if you need to overcome issues such as lawn drainage problems or have a problem getting plants, trees and grass to grow. For example, homeowners in Bourne, Massachusetts have a soil that varies greatly throughout the town, ranging from solid clay to sand, depending on the location of the property. All soil contains some degree of clay, silt and sand, however too much of one element can cause a whole host of problems for local landscaping if not corrected or adjusted properly.
What is Sandy Loam Soil?
Sandy loam is a type of soil that is used in gardening. As you might have guessed, this type of soil is made up of a majority of sand that is combined with varying degrees of clay and silt. Sandy loam soil is great for drainage, so it is often mixed in with heavy clay soil to correct lawn drainage problems, such as flooding, pooling, standing and the like. Because sand particles are often larger than other particles that are found in typical soil, sandy loam soil allows more water to flow freely through it. Soil that doesn’t drain well doesn’t just lead to flooding and standing water, but it can also increase other landscaping issues, such as fungus, disease and rot at the root and stem.
Some areas will naturally have enough sandy loam soil and may not need to make any changes to their gardening soil before planting, however as we have seen in the case of homeowners in Bourne, it can be difficult to tell what you might have until you start digging. If the soil has too much clay or simply isn’t sandy enough, quality sandy loam soil can be worked in to create more favorable conditions, depending on the needs and demands of the trees, shrubs, plants or grass being used. In most cases, an even amount of sand, silt and clay should be used for perfect gardening, however there are some plants that demand more or less sand that may need to be addressed.
What to Look for in Sandy Loam Soil
It may sound ridiculous, but all sandy loam soil is not equal. The sand particles used to create it can be composed of a variety of different sizes. For example, sand that is too find will not offer the best level of drainage, while sand that is too large will allow water to drain out too fast, away from plants that need it to thrive. One common mistake made by gardeners is to purchase “any old bag of sand” from a big box store or home improvement center and try to work it into their gardens. If you need a sandy loam soil to improve drainage, it is important to know what kind of sand you are working in to your soil.
Another thing to look for to ensure that your garden and landscaping will thrive is the pH level of the soil. It is important to make sure that your soil doesn’t get too acidic. Sometimes the acid comes from other additives, such as double shredded mulch. Other times the acid comes from having too much sand worked into the soil. A pH tester will be able to help, but it is also in your best interest to learn about using the best mulch for landscaping based on the plants you are going to grow. For example, flowering shrubs and trees take on a lot of acid from the soil, but if there is too much due to use of double shredded mulch too close to the roots, you could have a problem.
Learning how to choose the best mulch for landscaping and where to get quality sandy loam soil is essential for proper landscaping, maintenance and care of your property. Homeowners in Bourne should visit the local J&J Materials to find out more about sandy loam soil, top quality double shredded mulch and other items that can be used to solve lawn drainage problems and help plants, bushes and trees to thrive. J&J Materials has a screened loam that is sold by the yard that can help local gardeners and DIY landscapers to improve garden and lawn soil for better landscaping results.
Tips for Using Sandy Loam Soil
It can be difficult to know what type of sandy loam soil is best to use, as well as finding the best mulch for landscaping. Typically if you can get loam and double shredded mulch from a trusted source of quality materials, such as J&J Materials right here in Bourne, Massachusetts, chances are you will yield positive results. Here are some more tips about using sandy loam soil that will help you achieve your landscaping goals.
- Sandy Loam Soil is NOT a DIY Project – Creating your own sandy loam soil by mixing in sand does not provide homeowners in Bourne or anywhere else with the best results. Sand that is found along the beach or fine grade sand available through most retailers is just simply too fine to add to your garden. Do not add sand to your soil that is not specifically intended for that purpose. For best results, purchase screened sandy loam soil from a reliable source like J&J Materials.
- Know What You Want to Grow – Different plants have different needs, and while most plants will not thrive in a solid clay environment, some prefer more or less sand and silt mixed in with the clay than others. In some cases you may only need to add a little bit of sandy loam soil into your garden area, while in others you may need a lot more. Natural sands found locally in the area will usually have problems, such as salt content from the ocean or parasites that can infect and kill your plants. Your best bet is to purchase your sandy loam soil, double shredded mulch and other materials from a landscape supply store like J&J Materials.
- Start Fresh With Sandy Loam Soil – If you are creating a brand new planting area from scratch, such as a raised garden bed or a growing area within a new retaining wall that you have just built, start fresh with sandy loam soil from J&J Materials. You can work to build up the basic sandy loam soil, providing it with additional nutrients through the addition of compost over the next several months and years. The sandy loam soil available through J&J Materials already contains quality compost, however soil is something that needs to be nurtured and should always be improved upon over time.
Where to Get Sandy Loam Soil in Southeastern Massachusetts
Sandy loam soil is ideal for gardening, growing crops and producing great-looking lawns, especially in areas that are high in clay content. It is considered to be ideal because of its ability to release nutrients freely to plans, retain water to feed plants and allow excess water to flow away quickly and easily. J&J Materials sells loam by the yard that has been screened to a half inch and mixed with compost for added organic content. Visit J&J Materials to take a look at our sandy loam soil, to purchase our top quality double shredded mulch, which is the best mulch for landscaping or to learn more about how to solve common lawn drainage problems right here in the South Coast region.