How to mix sand & compost

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Gardening can be tricky business, especially because so many aspects of the soil must be considered. The ph level, consistency, fertility and more are all aspects that can mean all the difference between a successful garden and a failed one. Fortunately there are some reliable methods for mixing soil for success. By following the instruction below, you too can learn how to mix sand and compost.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Large mesh screen
  • Large container
  • Clay soil

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  1. 1

    Choose the right kind of compost. Good compost for use in gardening should be thoroughly broken down. Filter your compost with a large mesh screen, allowing smaller particles to pass through for compost use. Remove non-soil pieces that have passed through the screen. Take larger screened out compost and return them to the compost pile for further breakdown.

  2. 2

    Get the correct sand for mixing. Not all sands are created equally, some having a large lime or sodium content that will have adverse effects on soil quality and plants' ability to grow. Choose a horticultural quality sand from a gardening and botany store. Never use sand from a natural setting unless you are certain of it's mineral content.

  3. 3

    Create a potting soil mix with sand and compost. The nutrient rich compost makes an excellent growing medium, especially when combined with sand to allow for proper aeration. Pour the compost into a large container until its about an inch deep. Add another inch deep layer of sand on top of the compost. Alternate layers of compost and sand until it is all used. Mix the layers into each other until homogeneous.

  4. 4

    Combine the two ingredients into clay rich soil to condition it for proper growth. Clay rich soils often hold larger quantities of water than other mixtures of soil. Add one part sand to each 10 parts of clay soil and mix together until the soil is gritty in texture. Mix in composting to the clay soil/sand mix together at a one to ten ratio.

  5. 5

    Mix the ingredients together using your hands. Spoons, paddles and sticks can be useful for mixing, but the flexibility and utility of your hands work much better. Pull materials up and down through the levels of the soil to ensure proper mixing. Feel for large unmixed clumps and grind them into other materials between your palms.

Tips and warnings

  • Adjust your sand inclusion down if the compost already includes some sand particles.
  • Never use compost unless you are certain of it's acidity. Some decomposing compost matter can make the soil too acidic to be hospitable.

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