Can sandy soils be improved?

By Grant Woods,

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I live in the sandhills of South Carolina where the white sands make it difficult to grow grass let alone food plot greens. Most hunters in our area elect to feed corn. Despite the poor soil, our county (Chesterfield) has produced 3 or 4 160 class deer over the last 5 years.
Any suggestions you may have regarding soil management and food plot growth will be much appreciated. I raised my family hunting and fishing and my eldest son suggested your website. I have certainly enjoyed the site keep up the good work. Thank you for honoring our Savior with your life and lip. He is worthy of our praise.

Dr. Andy Wells
Pastor, Galilee Baptist Church

Pastor Wells,

Thank you for sharing the encouraging words!  Tracy (my wife) and I lived near Abbeville, South Carolina for years.  

Sandy soils don’t hold much moisture or nutrients.  They can be improved but the expense to improve them is often more compared to better quality soils.

The first step is to never disk those soils. Disking will expedite soil moisture and nutrient loss.  Rather, use a no-til drill to plant and herbicide to control weeds or terminate the crop.  

These soil conservation steps will make a difference!  You (or at least I have been) amazed at how quickly (speaking in years not days) organic matter will build on top the sand! 

I use the same techniques as at The Proving Grounds where the soils are extremely gravely (don’t hold moisture) and low in nutrients.

Enjoy creation,

grant December 23, 2015