Productivity – Making Sandy Soil Grow Crops

Q: I’ve got a seven acre field in McIntosh County on which I’ve tried for years to grow crops. The soil is basically pure sand. Fertilizer just leaches down after a couple of rains and the sand holds no moisture. How can I amend to make more productive?

A: Tim Boyer is a turf expert and representative for Soil3 (www.soil3.com). He says sandy soil definitely needs to have organic matter added to improve water holding capacity and microscopic places to hold nutrients. You can buy wood byproduct mixes that contain sewage sludge, locally available screened topsoil, or commercial compost. Put an inch of the product on as large of an area as you can manage and till it four inches deep. Immediately begin planting crops. Their root systems contribute to soil organic matter and prevent it from decomposing rapidly in your area.