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Turn sandy patch into fertile soil

Kind of a Big Deal

Turn sandy patch into fertile soil

Good morning Workshop Community Friends. We are in Perth and our area is basically grey black sand called Bassendean Sands. It’s lifeless, hydrophobic and doesn’t hold onto nutrients. The main problem is water repellent. Our sand is that repellent you can pour water onto it and it will pool on the surface for a long time. This means it is not penetrating down into the soil to reach the plants roots system. 
So how do we overcome this problem  ? I’ll show you how I do it in our garden. Let’s turn Sand into Soil. 




Materials I used and keep using. 

Baileys Clay and Compost 

Richgro Cow Manure 

Vivantes Triple C Mulch 

Charlie Carp Liquid Fertiliser 




My Garden tools I use and can’t go without. 

Garden Fork

Garden Hoe

Mini Hand Cultivar / Hoe

Garden Fork

Garden Hoe




A quick note for ALL Gardeners. If you’re using bagged soils / mulches, even if it’s not bagged and from a trailer load. 


Step 1



This garden bed is a nice sunny spot that I want to grow more Edible plants, Summer edibles. I removed weeds and an old ground cover that was struggling . The sand is so nutrient poor and hydrophobic that the weeds were struggling lol !! I just pulled them out and used my Garden fork to dig in and lift up any old roots ect.

Step 2




I added two bags of the Baileys Clay and Compost to this area, the sand is that bad I added extra. Look at the difference in quality and colour. I love this product because it has Kaolin Clay added to it. The Clay particles will coat the sand and will help with water retention. 
I used my garden Hoe to spread out the compost and used my garden fork to turn it over. 
This is extremely important as you do NOT leave it on top of the sand ( it will turn into a dry clump. 

Step 3





Next I added two bags of Cow Manure. I made sure to turn this into the sand thoroughly. I like to add an animal manure to the soil as well as a clay compost. This will help enrich the soil. Water in well. And guess what…… no water pooling on the top !!! It’s absorbing straight away !! Ohhhh the joy of building up your soil, I love it and find it so satisfying and interesting to the change. 

Step 4




Now to plant up !!!!!

I have planted in this area, Cherry Tomato, Sweet Basil, Oregano, Lemon Thyme and Heirloom Striped Cucumbers.
Before I forget , I added Dolomite Lime to the soil to give extra Calcium to the tomato to prevent it getting Blossom End Rot on the fruits.
I love using Charlie Carp as my go to liquid fertiliser. Adding it fortnightly.  

Step 5





Once everything is planted and liquid fertilised it is time for Mulching. 

Remember what I said…… Wear a mask when handling soils and mulches. 

I love and always use Vivantes Triple C. 
This beautiful mulch breaks down into a feeding compost over time and trust me when I say the Earthworms LOVE it !! It enriches the soil and encourages healthy, beneficial Microbial activity in the soil. 

So that’s how I like to improve lifeless sand. And just so you know, you do need to top up as needed every few months. I will top up again going into the summer months. 
Happy Gardening everyone !!!!!

Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: Turn sandy patch into fertile soil

Lovely work @mich1972! There's nothing like taking a barren area of soil and turning it into something that can nurture and sustain life. I can't wait to see your progress updates on this plot.


Many thanks for sharing.




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Re: Turn sandy patch into fertile soil

Thank you 😊 will do an update as they grow crazy @MitchellMc 

Home Improvement Guru

Re: Turn sandy patch into fertile soil

Afternoon @mich1972 

Now thats a good explanation of bringing back some poor soil! I think it would be super hard to do that in Perth. And look at that colour change :smile: Well done. I am over on the east coast and my garden beds get lifeless as well (My white gum kinda enjoys the good things I put in my garden beds and they are almost under it :smile: )

Cant wait to see how your plants do!



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Re: Turn sandy patch into fertile soil

my whole block is sand. I tried all sorts of things to get the front yard looking vaguely healthy. in the end, a friend gave me a trailer-load of horse manure and then I bought another trailer load of soil. spread that all over the ground and added some auto sprinklers. Then watched it all spring to life.

I know I'll need to keep adding organic matter to the lawn so I've started a tipple-bay composting system to keep the lawn fed in a couple of year's time when it starts fading again.

Kind of a Big Deal

Re: Turn sandy patch into fertile soil

Thanks @Dave-1 😃 I do love watching the changes in the soil 

Re: Turn sandy patch into fertile soil

Thanks @Ready2go 😃 would love to see your Compost set up. 

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