Sand as mulch or what?

wren_garden(zone 5b/6)July 17, 2014

We had to take down our 21' above ground pool. There is a 4+" bed of sand where the pool sat.Found one great use for some of the sand. I have lifted the stones in all the stepping stone paths and reset them with a hefty bed of this sand. There is still plenty of sand left. I thought of putting some at the back of all the beds against the house and fences to "hide" more. Would it work to put a 1 inch layer or so on all the beds as a "mulch" of sorts? Has anyone had experience with sand in the garden? I have to get rid of the sand by the end of August so the spot can be go through rehab with added soil and rototilling for a new flower bed and lawn. It's a job and a half and any ideas are welcome.

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I would be thinking how much ants like sand before putting it against my house. I would probably rake it out and seed it.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 1:23PM
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Lilyfinch z7 mid tn

Do you think a Craigslist posting could help you get rid of it? Someone may need it and be willing to take it away in buckets.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 12:49PM
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I actually use brick sand to mix in with my topsoil to top dress my lawn. Every year I start off by plugging my lawn to aerate the grass. I then get triple mix top soil mixed in with sand and with the back of a rake, I scrape the soil into the holes left behind. then I reseed the yard. The seeds are then covered with some of the sand to thwart off the birds from eating the seeds.

Anyway, that's just part of what you can use the sand for. When I first got my home, it had horrible lawn and horrible clay soil. Doing what I have done, improved it in no time. Every year I add a little layer of soil and in time I had built up a good layer of top soil and great healthy grass.. I also use the sand in container mixes...

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 10:17PM
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hoverfly - 9a London(9a)

I definitely wouldn't use pure sand as mulch.

My parents decided to mulch one of their potted plants with sand once and the plant looked pretty miserable afterwards. They took the sand off last year and the soil underneath was bone dry because the sand held on to all the water. Anyway, the plant is much happier without it.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 4:35AM
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Hoverfly - I suspect your parents didn't water more thoroughly to keep the pots wet. Like when one drops a little bit of water on salt or sugar.. the water gets absorbed. But add more and it will go right through. When you mulch pots you'd have to increase the amount of watering. the bigger the mulch bits and more water will penetrate.. the finer, the harder..

But I agree pure sand as mulch wouldn't work well. It has to be amended by triple mix compost or top soil to make it work well. I won't mix sand with clay because that comes out as cement.. but add compost to this and you have a great top dressing. Clay has water retentive components and contains great minerals add sand & compost to break it up.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 8:10AM
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wren_garden(zone 5b/6)

Thanks for the ideas. I will do some of each. Every chance to use up as much sand as possible. I will also fill a 40 gal garbage can behind our shed for future use.No more beach in the back yard lol,

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 3:49PM
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Years ago, when my sister's kids left home and they took down the above ground pool she replaced it with a circular garden with a central garden and four quarters having brick paths. I don't remember whether she had sand underneath and she has had at times over the years needed to work a bit on drainage but it's very nice and we all remember where the pool was. The former huge sandbox--at least 6' x 9' was converted
into a holding bed for new plants and divisions.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 4:49PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

define mulch.. and you will see sand is not mulch

it will not cool the soil below

it will not help retain moisture in the soil under

it will not reduce soil splashing on plants rain [reduce pathogens]

sand is not mulch ...


    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 4:57PM
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memo(Zone 4B Nebraska)

No, sand can not be used as mulch I'm afraid. I have sand for soil as I live in the sandhills. Pure sugar sand. I have to amend the sand literally with dump truck loads of aged manure every other year to get anything to grow. Sand will just produce weeds and many of those may have stickers that hurt like crazy when you grab them or step on them. I would rent a bobcat and pile it up in an accessible but out of the way area of your property and then put an add on Craigslist. People are always needing sand for sandboxes, pools, sidewalks, brick paths etc. Just be sure to note that they must haul it.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 1:43AM
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If you have a fire pit, you can use some of that sand to line the ground.

As I said, I've used brick sand and compost, triple mix for top dressing my lawn with great results.

Another use is when you propagate plants - For cuttings in which I use a soilless mix to start new plants, I add a little layer of sand to prevent mould. (water is wicked from the bottom). I do the same when starting new plants from seeds and for the same reason which is to prevent mould.

What else --- use it in making cement flagstones - I also did a project in which I used fine sand as a kind of mold.. - I stuck in wet sand (wihich a frame) and article to create impressions like baby daughters feet - and then I poured cement into the mould and let it set overnight. The next day, I had a relief of my daughter's footprint.

Again lots of uses - but of course sell off the excess if you can.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 10:55AM
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Ha Ha Ha ha... Sorry to laugh so much, but here in Florida, pretty much all sand, there are plenty of weeds growing in it.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 10:26AM
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There are tons of sand also here in the great north..most especially in a location called the Sandbanks. You'd think we are in coastal Virginia.. The only problem with sand that's by the seaside is salt.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2014 at 4:21PM
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