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Sandgardening?

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What is Sandgardening?

Its name is what it does…it’s a gardening method that uses sand – instead of soil – to grow plants. Sandgardening is the production of fresh organic food using sand as a growing media. 

A sandgarden is the easiest, safest and most cost-effective route to clean fresh food for your table.

It’s premised on what is arguably one of the most productive, resilient and sustainable food production methods on the planet.

Sandgardening is a revolutionary new/old way to grow plants…revolutionary in terms of its ability to rapidly change things for the better for a lot of people…through a fresh look at a very old gardening media…one that worked for a long time but then fell victim to convenience and fashion.

OK…let’s take a closer look at this remarkable substance.

What is sand?

Sand is a particle size rather than a specific substance.

It generally comprises mineral and rock particles that range in size from 0.02mm to 2mm (0.0008–0.08 inches) – finer than gravel, and coarser than silt or dust.

As you’ll come to understand, the particle size range of sand is more than just an academic distinction…it’s a critical success factor for the sandgardening method.

In the meantime, sand is the most commonly available substance on the surface of the planet…and silica quartz is the most commonly available sand.  

In some localities, feldspar, calcareous material, iron ores and volcanic glass might be the sand most commonly available.

As it happens, silica quartz is ideal for sandgardening.

Why Sand?

Sand is far more available than any soil type – much less good organic soil.

Sand can be managed to provide the ideal plant-growing environment…both physical and microbiological.

You can systematise your food production when you use sand…providing the ideal mix of drainage and water retention – and intermittent irrigation – so your plants have all the water and nutrients they need without running short – or becoming waterlogged.

Sand is 100% recyclable…it can be washed and sieved and re-used…forever!

And that’s just the beginning.

We’ll talk more about why we might want to be using sand later in Section 3 – Hydroponics or Soil?

What sand is best suited to Sandgardening?

Sandgardening-suitable sand is:

  • inert
  • free of silt and clay
  • able to drain effectively.
  • An inert substance will produce no chemical reaction when it comes into contact with water.  

Sand which is not inert contains minerals and other impurities (particularly carbonates) and may lead to nutrient deficiencies and imbalances.  Supplementation and adjustment is possible but working with sand that is not inert is a rather more complicated affair.

Sand to be used in Sandgardening must be free of silt and clay.  Aside from being fine material that will impede drainage, silt and clay may harbour plant diseases.

Our sand must be of a particular particle size range.  Too much fine material in the sand will impede drainage….and a Sandgarden must be able to drain effectively.  Too much coarse material in the sand and the sandgarden will cause it to drain too quickly making it difficult to ensure even distribution of water and nutrients.

The best sand will be the one that represents the best balance of effectiveness and cost.

The best way to ensure that available sand is suitable for sandgardening is to test it.  The testing process is simple and takes just a few minutes…and you can build your own sand testing rig for pennies.

We’ll show you how to do all of that in Part 2 of The Sandgardening Manual.

OK, now that we understand what sand is…and why it makes such a good growing media…it’s time to take a closer look at a Sandgarden.

-o0o-

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