If you're trying to map out your landscaping plans for next spring before the fall weather comes in, you should talk with your landscaper about the benefits of building next year's garden with sand. If you're not familiar with the roles that sand can play, there are a few things that you should know.
Sand makes a great additive to help balance out soil. If you opt for coarse sand, the granules are larger and can settle in between soil components. This prevents the soil from compacting, leaving some pockets that allow for oxygen, water and even soil nutrients to reach the roots. It also helps with water drainage because it creates paths for the water to flow through.
If you're looking for something like this, the sand to use is yellow sand or something similar. It's just coarse enough to fit the bill. You don't want to use any fine sand for this because it will compact heavily and leave the soil unusable.
If the soil in your yard is really dense, it won't drain very well. The moisture saturation can make it hard for you to grow things, particularly vegetables and plants with delicate root systems. If you don't break up that soil, you won't have a balanced distribution of nutrients or enough space for roots to grow. You can condition the soil by adding some coarse or large-granule sand.
Consider how deep you'll want to work the sand in, then get enough sand to make up about half of that depth. Then, dig up the soil to that depth and mix it all with the sand to create a two-to-one ratio of soil to sand. Don't add much more sand than that, though. Too much sand will keep the soil from retaining enough water so it will dry out too fast.
When you're planting tiny seeds like those for tomatoes or peppers, the seeds need to be well supported in order to keep them close enough to the surface for sunlight to do its job. If the soil is too fine, the smaller seeds can sink and be lost, keeping them from germinating. The large sand granules will actually offer support to keep those little seeds in place so that they get the sunlight they need. To get the benefit of this, when you create the planting hole, sprinkle a little bit of sand in the bottom of the hole for support. That way, if things settle, the seed won't shift down.
These are just three of the roles that sand can play in your yard. Whether you're looking at it for one of these purposes or you'd like to know what else it can do, talk with a landscaping service like Master Landscape today.