How to Test Sandy Soil

Determine whether or not your garden has sandy soil with these two simple steps. 

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Step 1: Test Soil

Gritty Feel to Soil Indicates High Sand Content

Gritty Feel to Soil Indicates High Sand Content

Take a pea sized bit of soil and smear it between fingers. If it feels finely gritty then it has a sand base.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

To determine whether your garden has sandy soil, and thus may need regular irrigation and boosting with organic matter, carry out a simple test to examine the texture of the soil. Take your sample from just below the soil surface and repeat at intervals across the garden to ensure an even overall result. Rub a small amount of soil between your fingers. If the soil has a gritty, granular feel, it is likely to contain a high proportion of sand.

Step 2: Squeeze Soil

Loamy Soil Will Hold Together When Squeezed

Loamy Soil Will Hold Together When Squeezed

Squeeze soil into ball. Sandy soil will not stick together. But if the soil is loamy, the shape may hold a little.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Try to squeeze the soil into a ball—the grains of sandy soil will not stick together, but if it is loamy, the shape may hold a little.

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