It's interesting to hear that you have had issues with sand turning wet soil to concrete consistancy, because we also use it to break up clay soil for better drainage. If you have clay in your sand then you don't have a true uncontaminated sand. I've never had a problem with sand turning to a hard state when wet. I hope you find the right combination, because a garden is fun when you have your soil right.
Any kind of organic like compost, shredded leaves, grass trimmings, straw, manure etc as long as they do not contain seeds, is the best thing to add to any soil. How ever since organic matter continually breaks down it will need to be added on a regular basis, at least annually.
Your local univerisity extention center and Master Gardeners can test your soil for a reasonable cost. They will usually give suggestions on what you should add to improve the soil.
One thing you can do to neutralize the wet soil is to add some sand. This allows for better drainage. Work some in and if it continues to stay wet add a bit more each year until you get the proper consistency for a garden you can be proud of.
Generally speaking compost is a great addative to soil to boost nutrients that your plants need. If you still have the bag it came in, check and see what it suggests.
If the soil in your yard is usually to wet, you could put in a raised bed. They are fairly easy to build. I filled mine with a combination of topsoil and compost. Each fall I add a little bone meal and blood meal and top it off with shredded leaves from you yard. In the spring I add compost and work it all in. That way the soil in my raised beds stays wonderful to grow my veggies.
It depends on what you plant. Some plants can handle a lot of nitrogen. Squash, zucchini and pumpkin for instance do great. Other plants need regular topsoil, either sandy, some fine bark added or other things, it depends on what your soil is like. I assume that your soil is very high in clay in which case mixing with compost is great. If in doubt ask at a local garden center. Birgit
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Sorry if this sounds like a dumb question. I'm new to organic gardening.
I bought organic planting compost for my veggie garden. I use containers because the soil is too wet here. They don't seem to be going very well. Was I supposed to add sand or top soil to the planting compost?
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