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What do you use to amend sand (south Florida soils) for roses?

[New topic generated from a different thread.]

Sand converts back to sand? The questions are: 1. What is needed to create/build up garden soils in a place where it's not just 'sandy' but actual sand covered by a thin (3-4" deep) of soil? And perhaps more importantly, has anyone worked out how often you have to continue adding compost/soil/composted manures and the like to MAINTAIN your sand-based beds? These are Rose beds, on own root... so the soils need to be... what... at least 18" deep in the bed? Yes Fortuniana root stock would not need as deep perhaps, but these are mostly own root and perennials.

Hum... therefore, those of us in sand... need to do quite a bit more than just digging a hole and plopping in a few shovelfuls of manure to make a rose/perennial bed. Right?

If so, then best to dig down approx. 15" or so? The entire bed? Then for every ohhhh, 3' or so, mix in say....what? 2 large bags of regular potting soil (without fertilizer) and one bag of Black Cow composted manure (mixing into existing sand)? Putting it all back into the 3'x3' space and thereby raising the bed level a few inches in the process. Then plant. Then mulch with compost like TWICE a year to maintain it? (I want to raise the bed a bit anyways). This is considerably more work than a single afternoon with a shovel.... lol just sayin.

Thoughts anyone?

To give credit where credit is due, here are snips of the original starter conversation, attributed:

Sharon2079 wrote this: "I live in South Florida and have sand.... but no matter how much organic material I put down I get back sand. I have to water daily and I think the chlorine kills my good soil bugs.... otherwise I can not account for why my soil looks dead and not alive with microorganisms. too bad the local university does not have an ag department that could study this for me."

In reply, roseseek wrote this (snipped): "The hotter it is, with sufficient nitrogen and soil moisture, the faster the soil bacteria and fungi "digest" the organics. If your organics disappear quickly it means you have LOTS of biological activity going on "eating and digesting" all of that material. Keep feeding it!"

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