Plants for dry sandy soil
Sandy soils dry out easily and are low in the nutrients of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. They allow rainwater to filter through the soil quickly with limited water and nutrient retention. On the plus side, they are easy to work, warm up quickly in the spring and provide the perfect arid landscape for plants that thrive in dry, infertile soils. Sandy soils tend to be acidic and benefit from generous amounts of organic matter such as well rotted garden compost, leaf mould or manure being worked into the soil before planting. Lavender is perhaps the most archetypal plant for dry soils but plenty of others such as buddleia, choisya, geranium and verbena are good choices too. We’ve broken down the best climbing plants, conifers, fruit bushes, grasses, heathers, hedging plants, perennials, shrubs and trees for sandy soils in separate categories below, for ease. It’s best to dig sandy soils in late winter or early spring and incorporate a slow release fertiliser such as Osmocote when planting. Mulch with a 5cm (2 inch) layer or bark to suppress weeds and aid water retention. Water thoroughly and regularly through periods of dry weather, especially whilst your plants become established. It is possible to support other plants with an extensive watering and feeding regime but we would always recommend choosing plants to suit your conditions as it is a lot easier and more environmentally friendly.