How to turn poor, sandy soil into lush pasture for horses

Many people have the same problem – they have very poor, sandy soil and they are wondering can they create a good horse pasture. The good news is that it can be done. First we need to figure out…

Why sandy soils sucks?

Sandy soils are usually very infertile – they simply do not have enough nutrients. Not only that, they do not have the capacity to hold a lot of nutrients, so simply spreading high dose of artificial fertilizer once is not a viable solution to this problem, as majority of nutrients will simply leach away.

Second problem with soil that is rich in sand is that it doesn’t hold water very well. That usually makes nutrients deficiency even worse, as plants (or mycorrhiza fungi) can’t reach nutrients if the soil is too dry.

Horses on sandy pasture in Boska Wola

 

How to kick start fertility of poor, sandy soils

To kick start soil fertility of poor, sandy soils you will have to import nutrients in one way or another.

  • If available, affordable and practical manure will usually work better than artificial fertilizers, as poor soils don’t have the ability to hold many nutrients, it will feed your soil with plant macro nutrients: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). Manure will also increase the level of organic matter in your soil. It will help your soils to hold water and nutrients.
  • Check at least your soil pH, if necessary add dolomite lime as you want to increase not only pH, but also magnesium level of your soil to make it more “tight”
  • If available add some (minimum 2 t/acre or 4 t/hectare) rock dust for micro nutrients and trace elements. Basalt, diabase, granite rock dust will work fine.
  • Seed it with required seed mix that contains perennial pasture legumes

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