Gardening on a sandy soil

Bor Borren permaculture

Recently I received the question if I am also available for small gardens. This person really wanted a garden based on permaculture, but didn’t have much gardening skills, time and budget. This is a difficult combination of factors. But, after an evaluation of the garden I made a simple sketch and we decided to work together on it for a few Saturdays. This lead to two days of trimming and cleaning. However, I was a little shocked when I found out that the soil was dune sand, a poor kind of soil. How am I going to handle this?

I decided to buy a box of bentonite. This is a fine powder that exists out of small parts of clay minerals. This powder makes sure that water and nutrients can retain better which makes the soil firmer. I also added blood meal and rock dust and spread the mix on the soil. Then, I lightly raked it and planted some bare spots with clover, a plant that stimulates nitrogen. Besides this, it is important to water the soil a lot the first week. To my surprise the clover grew like crazy! After a month I examined the soil again and the structure was much better due to the mixture. All of the new plants like red currant, lavender, gooseberry, grape, blackberry, mint and thyme performed well. As you can see, it all starts with the soil!

The garden itself was mainly made of stones that were already present. The path to the back of the garden is made of stones, tree bark and shells. In the back a compost container is placed in which we put all the shredded waste of the trimming. We also planted an apple tree and bamboo. Lastly, a few vegetables were planted.