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A person emptying a bag of compost into a garden bed

Overview

Good soil in your garden helps retain nutrients and hold enough water for your plants to grow. Sandy soil, while having its advantages, will leech these essential ingredients. We'll show you how to change your sandy soil so that it retains the nutrients from fertiliser and water. 

Steps

1Find out if your soil is water repellent

Using a watering can, pour water across your soil. If the water just pools on top of the soil, your soil is repellent. To improve this, you'll need to add a wetting agent to your soil. Use about a handful per square metre and spread the granules across the top of your soil. The granules will remove the waxiness of your soil and allow more water in.
A person spreading soil wetter onto a garden bed

2Add compost and manure

Next, add in some compost and manure to your soil. Spread it out evenly across your surface, ready to be turned into the soil. These two additions will give you a good combination to improve your soil.

A person emptying a bag of compost into a garden bed

3Blend your old and new soil together

Next, mix the soil up with your existing sandy soil by turning it over with a shovel. This will prevent you having sandy soil sitting beneath the nutrient-enriched good soil on the top. Rake it out to level your surface and give it a good water. Now your soil will be ready for planting.

A person watering a garden bed using a watering can

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.