Sand: Fun at the Beach, Not in a Garden

I’ve lived in Florida all my life.  I’m used to having sand between my toes and all over the carpet in the car.  However, it wasn’t until I moved to the the west coast of Florida that I developed a complete hatred of sand. 

Why?  For some unfathomable geological reason, the entire area is covered in thickly-packed, concrete-dense sand.  The only way to grow anything, even weeds, is to bodily dig out and remove hundreds of pounds of the stuff and to buy and haul in twice as much soil.

This is pretty darn expensive.  It also means that everything that isn’t watered on a daily basis becomes dessicated like preserved roses within a matter of days.  In fact, if you go for more than a day even now without watering, everything except aloe will completely shrivel and die.

It does not make for a particularly attractive (or easily maintained) yard.  Certainly not one that’s kid-friendly. 

To be fair, there are areas nearby where, because of a river or nearby lake, sediment has deposited a lovely, healthy amount of flotsam and jetsam of an organic nature.  I pass by these locations with a mix of soil envy and a longing to be discovered by Better Homes and gardens (or maybe one of those DIY shows) and have my entire yard  scoured of hard-packed sand and then backfilled with some lovely dirt.

Composting doesn’t help.  To sufficiently improve the quality of “soil” in my area, I’d need a compost heap the size of Rhode Island.

Ah, well.  Time to consider the benefits of turning my yard into a study in scrub cultivation.



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3 responses to “Sand: Fun at the Beach, Not in a Garden

  1. There’s a different problem in the area of NC where I grew up. Red clay. No porosity whatsoever. Good luck with that compost heap. 😉

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  2. San

    Having lived on the east coast of Florida and having always been jealous of the West Coast’s beauty, I am stunned to find a downside.

    BUT, I am willing to broker a deal.

    You ship sun and sand and a serious section of WARM ocean and I will bring you all the Maine soil you want 🙂

    Let me know if we can swap 😉

    And good luck with having your dream yard 🙂

  3. So a truckful of dirt would be the perfect gift for you?

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