Hi, I once in a while read in gardening books that certain plants should have "course builder's sand" mixed into the potting soil. Does anyone know what it is, and where to buy it. I have looked at places like Home Dept and Lowes with no luck. Is such stuff found in building supply stores? Thanks, Dan
David ross 2012-07-01 05:38:24
I use washed plaster sand. No, you don't wash it. The "washed" refers to part of the processing, when mud, silt, and other debris are removed. Plaster sand is used in making stucco, which gives you some idea of its coarseness. I see washed plaster sand in sacks at various nurseries, hardware stores, and lumber yards. However, that is an expensive way to buy it. I take a 5 gallon pail (about 2/3 of a cubic foot) to a nearby building supply yard. For $1, they let me fill the pail myself. A 50-50 mix of washed plaster sand and peat moss makes an excellent potting mix, but it needs nutrients added to it. See my
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Mombu 2012-07-01 09:25:42
The tube sand bags marked “traction sand” are pretty good.
Otherwise look for sand and gravel in the yellow pages.
Beach sand is too fine and rounded.
Thanks for your information. Dan
Ohhh... OK, another thought that is good. Thanks, Dan
Warren 2012-07-01 09:25:56
Are you looking in the masonry department? I can specifically remember seeing medium and fine sand in my local Lowes last week. I don't recall if there was course sand there or not, as that wasn't what I was looking for at the time, but there were other sands besides the two I remember. The key isn't "builders". It's "course". Builders is just a clue that you'll find the sand in the builders section, not the garden center. -- Warren H. ========== Disclaimer: My views reflect those of myself, and not my employer, my friends, nor (as she often tells me) my wife. Any resemblance to the views of anybody living or dead is coincidental. No animals were hurt in the writing of this response -- unless you count my dog who desperately wants to go outside now. Have an outdoor project? Get a Black & Decker power tool:: http://www.holzemville.com/mall/blackanddecker/
Stephen hennin 2012-07-01 09:27:07
You can use:
1) sharp sand, course sand, paver jointing sand (for between pavers),
gardening sand, horticultural sand, river sand, course builders sand are
very similar. They are course enough that water can drain through them
and air can get in. Quickrete Patio Paver Jointing Sand or Quickrete
All-Purpose Sand for example.
You shouldn’t use:
2) play sand, paver base sand (bedding for under pavers, not plants).
It is very fine and doesn’t drain and doesn’t aerate properly.
Quickrete Premium Play Sand or Quickrete Patio Paver Base Sand for
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Sherwindu 2012-07-01 09:27:09
I went the same route you did checking the building stores and garden centers. The only place
I found this coarse sand was in garden supply yards that typically
sell other things like paving stones, etc. They sell mostly to landscapers. There are
several in my area of suburban Chicago where you go with a shovel and empty sacks to huge bins
with various materials. I fill my own, and pay by the volume of
Anemail 2012-07-01 15:10:57
Possibly British books? Builders sand IS the sand that is available at
any builders merchant/yard.. Probably your Home Depot or our B&Q or
Its medium to course grained & used for mix in sand/cement mixes
(concrete) and is usually relatively untreated (compared to say, washed
sands or ‘silver’ play sands)
David bockman 2012-07-01 15:11:25
Several people have mentioned avoiding ‘play sand’ or ‘sandbox’ sand
because it is beach sand and far too fine, however the real danger is the
sodium content of such sand, if it was collected from a coastal area.
‘Builder’s Sand’, ‘Blasting Sand’ etc. is all good stuff and can be found
in the masonry area of any BORG store (Big Orange Retail Giant)
David J. Bockman, Fairfax, VA (USDA Hardiness Zone 7)
Lgb 2012-07-01 15:11:53
As is the “tube sand” aka “traction sand” which is more very fine gravel
than coarse sand. Makes good substrate for aquariums too. But you
can’t find it in the summertime :-).
BNSF = Build Now, Seep Forever
Sherwindu 2012-07-01 19:32:14
Just to clarify,
Home Depots here in Illinois don’t carry the stuff unless it is pre-bagged, which it is
not. You need a yard with open bins, a shovel, a sack, and a good back.