Two root vegetables which are good for sandy soil. Carrots and beetroot types.
Sandy soils are great for growing a wide range of root crops in the vegetable garden. They really are user friendly, with quick warming up properties after the winter, free draining after wet weather, easy to work because they are light, rarely compact like the heavier soils, and stay warmer for longer in the late Autumn.
Ah! yes! they do have a slight problem. They are hungry all of the time!
Because they are so free draining and open, they tend to lose nutrients quicker as they are washed out with the free draining soil water. Nitrogen in particular is freely lost from the soil. The answer is simply regular feeding and possibly using liquid feeds. Organic fertilisers such as Bonemeal and Fish Blood and Bone are the best to use for long term soil fertility.
Long term, it is good to add organic manures to any soils, but sandy soils for the vegetable growing in particular. Organic manures release their nutrients slower and are less likely to lose them through leaching. The bulky organic manures will also help to conserve soil moisture, for moisture retention is very important with the free-draining sandy soils - especially for vegetable root crops.
Good vegetable crops for sandy soils will include all of the carrots, beetroot, radishes, parsnips, garlic and the early salad crops of lettuce and the like.
Potatoes early crops are ok, but maincrop potatoes will need added bulky manures to keep the soil moisture levels high for good production.
Brassicas generally, runner beans (Early French Beans are ok) Celery, and Rhubarb are best not grown on sandy vegetable plot soils. They all need too much regular moisture for suitable growth.
By David Hughes - firstname.lastname@example.org