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Old 05-02-2019, 10:49 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Sand for sticky borders

A chap I do a bit of gardening for had a couple of his borders flooded
last year by a change in subterranean water flow. That has been fixed,
but the borders are still "sticky".

He wants to dig sand into the borders. Fine, but he has specified
"horticultural sand". I think it would save him money if I just used
ordinary sharp (concreting) sand from a builder's merchant. What does
the team think?

TIA

John

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Old 05-02-2019, 11:02 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Sand for sticky borders

On Tue, 05 Feb 2019 10:49:20 +0000, Another John wrote:

A chap I do a bit of gardening for had a couple of his borders flooded
last year by a change in subterranean water flow. That has been fixed,
but the borders are still "sticky".

He wants to dig sand into the borders. Fine, but he has specified
"horticultural sand". I think it would save him money if I just used
ordinary sharp (concreting) sand from a builder's merchant. What does
the team think?

TIA

John


Personally I would use lime if the stickyness is due to clay.
--
Jim S
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Old 05-02-2019, 11:55 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Sand for sticky borders

On 05/02/19 11:02, Jim S wrote:
On Tue, 05 Feb 2019 10:49:20 +0000, Another John wrote:

A chap I do a bit of gardening for had a couple of his borders flooded
last year by a change in subterranean water flow. That has been fixed,
but the borders are still "sticky".

He wants to dig sand into the borders. Fine, but he has specified
"horticultural sand". I think it would save him money if I just used
ordinary sharp (concreting) sand from a builder's merchant. What does
the team think?

TIA

John


Personally I would use lime if the stickyness is due to clay.


Lime? Surely you are referring to gypsum ("claybreaker"). This will
still add calcium to the soil, but won't affect the pH as lime would.

--

Jeff
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Old 05-02-2019, 12:00 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Sand for sticky borders

On 05/02/2019 10:49, Another John wrote:
A chap I do a bit of gardening for had a couple of his borders flooded
last year by a change in subterranean water flow. That has been fixed,
but the borders are still "sticky".

He wants to dig sand into the borders. Fine, but he has specified
"horticultural sand". I think it would save him money if I just used
ordinary sharp (concreting) sand from a builder's merchant. What does
the team think?


Sand is hard work and the worms are not so keen to work it in for you.

Spent mushroom compost or horticultural compost from a garden centre
that really grows plants for sale (as opposed to importing them) are the
best cheap options for stuff to lighten the soil. You can sort of get
away with a rough mulch after just breaking up the clay into spade sized
lumps as well since worms and weather will mix it up for you eventually.

You want a sharp grit sand if the aim is to improve drainage. Building
sand tends to have a bit too much fines in it (which is great for making
concrete and mortar set but not ideal in a clay soil).

--
Regards,
Martin Brown
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Old 05-02-2019, 12:00 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Sand for sticky borders

On 05/02/19 10:49, Another John wrote:
A chap I do a bit of gardening for had a couple of his borders flooded
last year by a change in subterranean water flow. That has been fixed,
but the borders are still "sticky".

He wants to dig sand into the borders. Fine, but he has specified
"horticultural sand". I think it would save him money if I just used
ordinary sharp (concreting) sand from a builder's merchant. What does
the team think?

TIA

John


You have to be a little careful with sand from builder's merchants. The
fine deep-yellow sand may have been dredged from the sea, and so will be
more than a little salty. Also, if fine, it will probably add to the
stickiness problems.

True "sharp sand" will be a lot better physically as it will contain a
range of particle sizes. It might still have been dredged, though, so
might contain some salt.

FWIW, I use Wickes sharp sand for mixing composts as it's so cheap, and
have never seen a "salt" problem with it.

--

Jeff


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Old 05-02-2019, 12:08 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Sand for sticky borders

In article ,
Another John wrote:
A chap I do a bit of gardening for had a couple of his borders flooded
last year by a change in subterranean water flow. That has been fixed,
but the borders are still "sticky".

He wants to dig sand into the borders. Fine, but he has specified
"horticultural sand". I think it would save him money if I just used
ordinary sharp (concreting) sand from a builder's merchant. What does
the team think?


Yes, sharp sand is the stuff, but the problem is that you need a LOT
(or of anything, else for that matter) to make any difference.


Regards,
Nick Maclaren.
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Old 05-02-2019, 10:14 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Sand for sticky borders

On Tue, 5 Feb 2019 11:55:48 +0000, Jeff Layman wrote:

On 05/02/19 11:02, Jim S wrote:
On Tue, 05 Feb 2019 10:49:20 +0000, Another John wrote:

A chap I do a bit of gardening for had a couple of his borders flooded
last year by a change in subterranean water flow. That has been fixed,
but the borders are still "sticky".

He wants to dig sand into the borders. Fine, but he has specified
"horticultural sand". I think it would save him money if I just used
ordinary sharp (concreting) sand from a builder's merchant. What does
the team think?

TIA

John


Personally I would use lime if the stickyness is due to clay.


Lime? Surely you are referring to gypsum ("claybreaker"). This will
still add calcium to the soil, but won't affect the pH as lime would.


Hydrated lime is what I mean. Ask westcountry farmers.
Calcified seaweed is also used, but more expensive.
--
Jim S
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Old 06-02-2019, 03:15 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Sand for sticky borders

On Tue, 5 Feb 2019 22:14:46 +0000, Jim S wrote:

On Tue, 5 Feb 2019 11:55:48 +0000, Jeff Layman wrote:

On 05/02/19 11:02, Jim S wrote:
On Tue, 05 Feb 2019 10:49:20 +0000, Another John wrote:

A chap I do a bit of gardening for had a couple of his borders flooded
last year by a change in subterranean water flow. That has been fixed,
but the borders are still "sticky".

He wants to dig sand into the borders. Fine, but he has specified
"horticultural sand". I think it would save him money if I just used
ordinary sharp (concreting) sand from a builder's merchant. What does
the team think?

TIA

John

Personally I would use lime if the stickyness is due to clay.


Lime? Surely you are referring to gypsum ("claybreaker"). This will
still add calcium to the soil, but won't affect the pH as lime would.


Hydrated lime is what I mean. Ask westcountry farmers.
Calcified seaweed is also used, but more expensive.


In this (Rugby) part of the world, the clay is intermingled with lime and
additional lime would be counterproductive (one mile away from the country's
largest and Europe's second largest cement works, which made use of the local
geology). Gypsum has a reasonable effect as a de-flocculent in clay here, but
organic matter seems to be far more efficacious.

Mark Rand
--
RTFM
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Old 06-02-2019, 10:32 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Sand for sticky borders

On Wed, 06 Feb 2019 07:31:57 +0000, Chris Hogg wrote:

On Wed, 06 Feb 2019 03:15:47 +0000, Mark Rand
wrote:
Gypsum has a reasonable effect as a de-flocculent in clay here, but

^^^^^^^^^^^^^

organic matter seems to be far more efficacious.

Mark Rand


ITYM flocculant



Brain was tired :-)

Mark Rand
--
RTFM
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Old 07-02-2019, 08:42 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Sand for sticky borders

On 06/02/2019 15:52, Chris Hogg wrote:
On Wed, 06 Feb 2019 15:04:31 +0000, Bob Hobden
wrote:

On 5 Feb 2019 12:08, (Nick Maclaren) wrote:
In article ,
Another John wrote:
A chap I do a bit of gardening for had a couple of his borders

flooded
last year by a change in subterranean water flow. That has been

fixed,
but the borders are still "sticky".

He wants to dig sand into the borders. Fine, but he has specified
"horticultural sand". I think it would save him money if I just used
ordinary sharp (concreting) sand from a builder's merchant. What does
the team think?

Yes, sharp sand is the stuff, but the problem is that you need a LOT
(or of anything, else for that matter) to make any difference.


That is the problem. However sand is a permanent fix from what I've
seen whereas composts get broken down and will need renewing, they will
also affect the pH making it more acid and clay is usually acid anyway.


As NM said, you need a lot of sand to make a difference. A coarse
grit-sand is better than builders' sand. Old gardeners' saying: "sand
on clay is thrown away". Grit-sand plus compost is the way to go. Not
all clays are acid, btw. The only way to be sure is a pH test.


Ive always considered builders sand to be the name of soft sand -
rounded grains that cump together when damp and suitable for bricklaying
but unsuitable for this application.

https://www.buildbase.co.uk/building...100010231-0000

Sharp sand, which is also available from builders merchants, has sharp
grains (and a smaller mix of smaller rounded grains) and is more suited
to this application. In my experience it can vary a lot. Around my way
it tends to be yellow in colour and relatively small sharp grains which
will cut skin if you rub it between two fingers. I recently purchased
some sharp sand 200 miles away whilst staying with friends and it was
red in colour with larger grains.

https://www.buildbase.co.uk/sharp-sand-100010232-0000


Ballast which is a mix of sand and large shingle.

https://www.buildbase.co.uk/ballast-100010234-0000

As for a previous warning on salt, if it is going to cause a problem in
a garden it is going to cause greater problems when using it for
building! The sand will have been washed.

--
mailto : news {at} admac {dot} myzen {dot} co {dot} uk
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Old 07-02-2019, 10:12 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Sand for sticky borders

On 07/02/19 08:59, Chris Hogg wrote:
On Thu, 7 Feb 2019 08:42:10 +0000, alan_m
wrote:

As for a previous warning on salt, if it is going to cause a problem in
a garden it is going to cause greater problems when using it for
building! The sand will have been washed.


+1

In my previous bungalow, we were right on the coast, up a steep hill
straight from the beach. In winter the windows would be crusted with
salt from the SW gales, and balls of spume would blow across the
garden. Also, I used to bring carloads of seaweed up from the beach
and put it straight on the garden as a mulch around shrubs etc, with
no attempt to wash it. The salt deposited on the garden by winter
gales and with the seaweed did no harm, although foliage got burnt,
but that's not quite the same thing.


Maybe that's why Jersey Royals today have lost much of their flavour -
no natural salt from the seaweed which used to be used as a
fertiliser/mulch! :-)

Regarding salt in builders sand, it may depend on the source. If you
look under "Consists of" here
https://www.greenvaleproductsltd.com/builders-sand-tonne-bag-156-p.asp,
it's a bit ambiguous as to whether this particular sand contains salt or
not. There is also ample possibility of confusion when many merchants
specifically list "builders sand" and "Washed sharp sand". It tends to
suggest that the latter comes from the sea and required washing. Not
sure about the former, though!

--

Jeff
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Old 07-02-2019, 10:22 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Sand for sticky borders

On Thu, 7 Feb 2019 10:12:34 +0000, Jeff Layman wrote:

On 07/02/19 08:59, Chris Hogg wrote:
On Thu, 7 Feb 2019 08:42:10 +0000, alan_m
wrote:

As for a previous warning on salt, if it is going to cause a problem in
a garden it is going to cause greater problems when using it for
building! The sand will have been washed.


+1

In my previous bungalow, we were right on the coast, up a steep hill
straight from the beach. In winter the windows would be crusted with
salt from the SW gales, and balls of spume would blow across the
garden. Also, I used to bring carloads of seaweed up from the beach
and put it straight on the garden as a mulch around shrubs etc, with
no attempt to wash it. The salt deposited on the garden by winter
gales and with the seaweed did no harm, although foliage got burnt,
but that's not quite the same thing.


Maybe that's why Jersey Royals today have lost much of their flavour -
no natural salt from the seaweed which used to be used as a
fertiliser/mulch! :-)

Regarding salt in builders sand, it may depend on the source. If you
look under "Consists of" here
https://www.greenvaleproductsltd.com/builders-sand-tonne-bag-156-p.asp,
it's a bit ambiguous as to whether this particular sand contains salt or
not. There is also ample possibility of confusion when many merchants
specifically list "builders sand" and "Washed sharp sand". It tends to
suggest that the latter comes from the sea and required washing. Not
sure about the former, though!


The Bude canal (interesting story to Google) was built at great expense to
bring beach sand to the farmers of North Cornwall and Devon. The soil there
is known as 'cold clay'. It was never successful due to the steep slopes,
but I guess the principle wasn't too good as that same land is mainly given
over to grass for cattle grazing, silage and hay with little arable which
is really what gardening is.
--
Jim S
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Old 07-02-2019, 10:43 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Sand for sticky borders

On 07/02/2019 10:12, Jeff Layman wrote:
hing.

Maybe that's why Jersey Royals today have lost much of their flavour -
no natural salt from the seaweed which used to be used as a
fertiliser/mulch! :-)


No seaweed! They don't collect and spread it on the land like they once did.

I agree Jersey Royals have lost most of the flavour that once commanded
the high price for early potatoes. These days with imports from around
the world you are better off buying something else rather than Jersey
Royals.

--
mailto : news {at} admac {dot} myzen {dot} co {dot} uk
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Old 08-02-2019, 10:19 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Sand for sticky borders

In article ,
Chris Hogg wrote:

On Tue, 05 Feb 2019 10:49:20 +0000, Another John
wrote:

A chap I do a bit of gardening for had a couple of his borders flooded
last year by a change in subterranean water flow. That has been fixed,
but the borders are still "sticky".

He wants to dig sand into the borders. Fine, but he has specified
"horticultural sand". I think it would save him money if I just used
ordinary sharp (concreting) sand from a builder's merchant. What does
the team think?


Just another thought: are you sure the 'sticky' border isn't just due
to poor drainage and/or a high water table? I'm not sure what you mean
by 'change in subterranean water flow', and how it was 'fixed'?


Yes - it was a "high water table". He and his next door neighbour are on
land that was a field before they made their gardens; in fact half of
next door's still _is_ a field. The whole plot (3 or 4 acres) is on
the side of a gently domed hill (agricultural pasture), which has
springs. The water springs forth when it has forced its way up through
the clay, which is about 18" down. Last year, heavy rain forced the
water up through the land just "uphill" from my man's garden, hence his
borders were swamped. He has dealt with it by trenching along his
fence, and channelling the water around the garden.

[The proper way to do it would be to get a drainage man in, with the
right "heavy plant", but that will cost too much.]

And so: the soil is sticky because it was sodden -- under water -- for
months.

John


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