Sandy loam is a type of soil used for gardening. This soil type is normally made up of sand along with varying amounts of silt and clay. Many people prefer sandy loam soil for their gardening because this type of soil normally allows for good drainage. Sand particles are often larger and more solid than other types of particles found in soil, and for this reason there is normally more room for water to move freely through it. If water cannot drain well, plants are often at greater risk for becoming oversaturated, which might increase the likelihood that they will rot and develop diseases or fungus.
Many people are lucky enough to have sandy loam soil in abundance in their geographic areas, and because of this, it may not be necessary for them to try to alter their gardening soils before planting. People who do not have favorable sandy loam soil for gardening might have to do quite a bit of work before they can begin to plant their gardens. If a person's soil isn't sandy enough, sand can typically be worked in. It is important for a person not to add too much sand. Most people consider it a good rule of thumb to have even amounts of silt, sand, and clay for the perfect gardening spot.
All sandy loam is not necessarily considered equal because sand particles tend to differ in size. Sand particles can be extremely fine as well as large, and sand that is very fine usually doesn't offer superior drainage to the average garden. The majority of sand found naturally in the soil is not considered fine, but there are some people who might buy a bag of very fine textured sand to work into their gardens. People who want to use sand for the purpose of creating a sandy loam to help with drainage should make an effort to notice what type of sand they are purchasing.
Gardeners may need to regularly test the pH levels of their soils to ensure that it doesn't get too acidic. Sand is typically acidic in nature, and if too much sand is worked into the soil, a garden could become too acidic. A pH tester should be able to accurately tell a person whether or not their pH levels should be lowered. In most cases, lime can be worked into soil that is too acidic to reduce the high levels of acid.