Using Loamy Soil When Planting In Sandy Soil

I live in the tropics, on the beach. The ground of course is very sandy. I am aware of certain plants/trees that love sandy soil - coconuts, tropical pine, papaya, mangoes, citronella, passion fruit. There are many tropical fruit trees (guava, banana, avocado) that need a loamy type of soil which I do not have. My question is, if I were to dig a large hole and fill it up with loamy soil ( say 1 ton ) and then plant the tree in it, would this work or would the salt eventually bleach the loamy soil and kill the tree?


Hardiness Zone: 11

Marangman from Malaysia

October 28, 20080 found this helpful

When planting trees, it's widely believed that amending the soil is a bad idea. What tends to happen is that the tree roots will only grow so far as the amended soil, giving it a very limited and unstable root system. Even as much as one ton of loam will not be adequate for a tree's entire root system, and the next time you have strong winds, the tree and its root ball will flop right over. If it were me, I'd plant whatever tree it is you're attempting to grow directly into the soil you have and see if it can adapt on its own. Otherwise, it's not a suitable choice for your site and it would be best to look for another type of plant instead of fighting against nature.

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October 30, 20080 found this helpful

When I was a little girl my parents worked overseas. For the first thirteen years of my life we lived on a coral island very near the beach. Down there we grew all kinds of small fruit trees. Guavas and bananas come to mind as well as key limes and pineapple plants--also many varieties of flowers including hibiscus, temple lily trees and gardenias. They were all grown in very large raised beds made of concrete blocks.

The beds were filled with soil (probably shipped in) and fertilized with guano from bats living in the local caves. We always had large crops to share. You might try this idea. I wish I could give you the measurements of the "pots" but that has been way too many years ago for me to be accurate.

I would "guess-timate" 10-12 feet by 5-6 feet. The above ground height couldn't have been much more than 2 feet, if that much since I remember sitting on the edges. I also don't know if they were dug into the coral and if so, by how many feet deeper. A gardening expert may be able to help you there.

I know that right now I am growing papayas, bananas pineapples and Meyers lemons in pots that are all no more than eighteen inches deep and they are all producing well. Avocados have much deeper roots but I know there is at least one variety on the market that will grow and produce in a pot.

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