What to use for soil

I live in an area where if not inhabitated would be desert. Our "soil" is sand. I have a small spot I want to do some planting in and am going to dig that area out. I want to fill it back up with something as close to actual soil as I can get. What is best, possibly a mixture of soil admendment and potting soil that can be bought at the home improvement centers. I want to plant maybe a couple of ornamental grasses and flowers. Thanks for your input.
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Paul O.


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<http://tinyurl.com/djamtl
Even works when misspelled.
:))0
Bill
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Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA







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talking... ten cu yds is not a lot. You will be better off buying topsoil with compost added by the truckload (check your yellow pages for a local supplier), then periodically add amendments you can buy by the bagful at your local home improvement center. It'll be much too expensive to buy the quantity of soil you're likely to need by the bagful. People almost always under estimate the quantity of soil they need by at least twofold.
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--
Paul O.
"brooklyn1" < snipped-for-privacy@verizon.net> wrote in message
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go.
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Depending on how much of a rush you are in, you could plant some green fertilizer. I'm growing rye and clover but buckwheat and sweet peas would work also (look at cover crops: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cover_crop ). The rye and buck wheat puts out an incredible amount of organic material beneath the ground and the clover, or legumes will fix nitrogen. Some nurseries have mixes called "green manure". Once up, cut it or not, spread with amendments (manure, bone meal, phosphate rock), and lay newspaper or cardboard over all of it. Cover cardboard or newspaper with mulch (I prefer alfalfa). Hose down the mulch and then poke in hole where you are going to plant. Voila, no dig, lasagna gardening.
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Billy
"For the first time in the history of the world, every human being is
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Hi Paul, if you're from Brooklyn NY there's a general chatboard for people from there and Queens called http://members6.boardhost.com/QueensNYer/index.html?1237065356 or http://members6.boardhost.com/QueensNYer/ you may want to check out. It's a nice bunch of people from those boroughs who discuss everything.
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wrote:

Any organic matter or compost will work well. Grass is easy to grow. Your greatest challenge is keeping it moist until established.
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On 3/13/2009 3:08 PM, Paul O. wrote:

In a reply, you describe a plot that is about 5.6 square feet. Get a large bag (NOT a compressed bale, which is too much) of peat moss and stir it thoroughly into the sandy soil that you already have. Buy the smallest boxes or bags you can find of blood meal and bone meal; stir those thoroughly into your soil. Broadcast over the soil enough gypsum to create a 1/4 inch layer; stir that in. (Desert soils often contain salts; gypsum will help leach the salts away.) ALL STIRRING should be to a depth of at least 2 feet.
Plant. Stand back. Things will grow very quickly.
One thing you don't want to do is create a pit with one kind of soil where the surrounding soil is entirely different. The roots of some plants might resist crossing the interface. When summer gets really hot, those plants will die because their roots are too shallow. Instead, you want to improve the sandy soil but leave it sandy. Then roots will grow into the adjacent unimproved sandy soil.
The limiting factors in your garden will be water and heat. Peat moss will help the soil retain some water, but you will have to still water frequently. Many plants cannot take the heat of summer in the desert. Check with a local nursery to find out what plants are suitable for your climate.
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David E. Ross
<http://www.rossde.com/ .
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You can buy large inexpensive bags of topsoil and composted cow manure at Home Depot or Lowe's and mix them with about 30% of the sand. With a little fertilizer added, your flowers and grasses should thrive.
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