I have sand...and lots of it

United States
January 6, 2007 8:13pm CST
My yard is almost entirely sand. I live in Wisconsin where, usually we have plenty of snow, ran and short growing seasons. Unfortunately, the last 4 years (especially this year) we have had very little snow and little rain in the summer. I hate cactus, but would like to have pretty flowers on my beds. Something that can take full sun, little water and will bloom beautifully in sand. Any suggestions? Am I doomed to barren flower beds?
2 responses
@Wanderlaugh (1625)
• Australia
7 Jan 07
You may be sitting on the answer. Sand, if it's good quality, is in much demand by gardeners for better drainage. A good, fibrous mix of compost, added to sand, can do wonders, particularly for fussy plants that need good drainage. Another thing you can do is raised beds, the sand underneath just allows water to drain, so put some gravel under the beds.
• United States
7 Jan 07
I have no idea what quality it is, all the hills around the house is sand stone, and the yard is nothing but yellow sand. I do have two raised beds along the side of the garage in which I simply put some good black dirt from the neighbors cow yard in over the sand. Things grow there fairly well as long as they can take full sun. I'm mostly concerned about the lack of rain we have been having. I'm wondering if this summer will be a drought. If so, do you know of anything besides a cactus that wont die with very little water?
@coolseeds (3925)
• United States
16 May 08
Crabs and cacti are what comes to mind when you ask what will grow in sand. I think it would be better to add some compost or organic matter to your soil and grow what you like. Are you looking for perennials? The less maintenance you want to put into limits your choices. There are very little nutrients in sand. What you should do is find something that is growing in the same type of local conditions that you like. You are in Wisconsin. I don't know your growing zone. So this limits my answer. Yarrow might work. Check your local nursery. Others in your area might have the same problem that you have.