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Banana Plant Soil, Additives, and Fertilizer This forum is an area where you may discuss the soil to grow banana plants in, as well as soil additives such as teas, composts, manures, fertilizers and related topics.


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Old 05-13-2012, 08:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Sand instead of mulch in flower bed

I want to give the flower bed the "beach" look,and was thinking of doing this. i was looking at the white play sand, but they have one other kind I may go with because it is cheaper and thicker granules.

The area will hold cold hardy tropicals such as yucca, bananas, canna, elephant ears, palms, and some flowers...everything will be planted underneath in the clay/soil, with the sand replacing mulch or lava rock.

What are you experiences, knowledge, and opinions?
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Old 05-13-2012, 09:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Talking Re: Sand instead of mulch in flower bed

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Originally Posted by Ready2Play View Post
I want to give the flower bed the "beach" look,and was thinking of doing this. i was looking at the white play sand, but they have one other kind I may go with because it is cheaper and thicker granules.

The area will hold cold hardy tropicals such as yucca, bananas, canna, elephant ears, palms, and some flowers...everything will be planted underneath in the clay/soil, with the sand replacing mulch or lava rock.

What are you experiences, knowledge, and opinions?
Look into decomposed granite it may be a better choice.Lots of different colors
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Old 05-13-2012, 09:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Sand instead of mulch in flower bed

How to build a beach - Sunset.com
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Old 05-13-2012, 09:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Sand instead of mulch in flower bed

Think......cats........
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Old 05-13-2012, 09:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sand instead of mulch in flower bed

The purpose of mulch is to stop surface evaporation while providing an modest aerobic environment. Sand does neither of these.
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Old 05-13-2012, 09:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sand instead of mulch in flower bed

So what about mulch underneath the sand? I have clay and the bed is at the downslope of my yard not too far from the drain bed, so the ground will retain moisture either way...my main concern is the sand inhibiting growth or thriving of the plants...
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Old 05-13-2012, 11:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sand instead of mulch in flower bed

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So what about mulch underneath the sand? I have clay and the bed is at the downslope of my yard not too far from the drain bed, so the ground will retain moisture either way...my main concern is the sand inhibiting growth or thriving of the plants...
You might be confusing mulch with compost. Compost is fine grain material. Mulch is the size of gravels. For example, mulch for orchids in pots is typically 1/4 or 1/2 inch diameter, where as mulch for fruit trees is typically 1 inch diameter on average.

If you put sand on top of mulch, it will soon become a mixture of mulch and sand -- removing the aerobic property of the mulch.

If you want a garden bed with beach sand in it -- go for it, but choose plants that thrive in that environment.
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Old 05-14-2012, 01:32 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Sand instead of mulch in flower bed

Sand + clay = concrete

Be careful. I made that mistake. One of many!
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Old 05-14-2012, 07:23 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Sand instead of mulch in flower bed

Think weed barrier/landscape fabric
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Old 05-14-2012, 07:37 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sand instead of mulch in flower bed

There will be plenty of weed barrier going down....the industrial stuff not the thin home depot stuff. In that sense, not worried about it mixing with the clay...the clay will soley be where everything is rooted

And Richard...i know what mulch is and the differences between that and compost. I used to work in the family business doing construction and remodeling, which sometimes entailed landscape work. My concern isn't with the sand working FOR me, but against me. Will it alllow the water to get to the plants or will it hold it back, will it choke them out having it surround them, will it be too heavy for the more fragile plants to sprout through, will it allow for me to properly fertile when needed..those kind of things. It is going to be used for aesthetics, that is all...
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Old 05-14-2012, 08:46 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sand instead of mulch in flower bed

How deep is the sand going to be. If it were an inch or two I wouldn't expect you to have much trouble at all. If you are putting down like 6" of sand you may run into some issue. Also, water will perch on the clay and you could end up with poor drainage. Basically, the sand has a high percolation rate and the clay has a low percolation rate. The sand will also get weedy, you will be surprised at one will grow in pure beach sand. I put 57 rock on my flower beds and I am surprised at the weeds that come through it.
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