What is Horticultural Sand

What is Horticultural Sand? How It is Different From Normal Sand

A healthy harvest of bright green leafy vegetables grown in the vegetable garden is a source of inspiration. It is not only an aesthetic background but also a nutritious outdoor activity in which the whole family can participate. It is easy to maintain a healthy garden if you start with a solid foundation of good soil. Take a look at this article and find out what horticultural sand is, how it differs from other regular sand and horticultural sand alternatives.

What is Horticultural Sand?

Horticultural sand is very grainy sand that consists of substances such as granite, quartz, or crushed stone. It is often called spicy, coarse, or quartz sand. Usually, the sand consists of coarse and fine particles when used for plants.

How Is It Different From Normal Sand?

The important features will help us decide whether we should buy horticultural sand for growing plants.


On the beaches and in the rivers you can see normal sand. This watery sand has small round grains in its structure. Because of these tiny grains, normal sand ends up filling the spaces between clay and silt at the bottom.

On the contrary, horticultural sand has thicker and sharper grains that are formed from a broken rock. If you use this sand in the soil, your plants will get more water and nutrients. Furthermore, they are similar to the grains used in concrete blocks and concrete mortar.


As already mentioned, ordinary sand is so small that it matches the soil particles. It prevents the movement of water molecules. As a result, you can see a reduction in drainage and greater retention of water in the soil.

Water adheres to the surface of every grain of sand and increases its ability to retain water. The result is a poorly aerated and oxygen-depleted soil that supports young roots.

Furthermore, the sandy soil can eventually turn into bricks. It is also difficult to irrigate the soil when it is dry and sandy.

Compared to ordinary sand, horticultural sand is the exact opposite. By using thick grains it does not fill the space between the soil particles. Air pockets can form between the clay and the pellets, which allow water to flow through the soil efficiently.


Before adding sand to the soil mix, make sure that it contains the right ingredients. Sand grains can contain many impurities or salts and can disturb the plant environment when introduced into the soil.

For example, fine river sand can contain minerals and dissolved organic matter. On the contrary, horticultural sand does not contain lime and is made of pure quartz sand.

Is it not clear what is best? With little or no contamination, horticultural sand has a positive effect on the pH value and soil components.


While the price may seem negligible to gardeners, others cannot afford the horticultural sand.

Unlike ordinary sand, which is quite cheap, horticultural sand is much more expensive. That’s why people often prefer to buy ordinary sand for their needs, even if it limits soil drainage.

But there is nothing to worry about. If you need a cheaper substitute for horticultural sand with similar advantages and better soil quality, look for alternatives.

Horticultural Sand Alternatives

Although horticultural sand has many advantages, it is not always available in all regions. It is also quite expensive.

Since many seed mix recipes require horticultural sand, you may need to look for alternatives. These include gravel, sand, and construction gravel.

Although they are almost identical, there are some differences in salt content. Unlike horticultural sand, alternatives may contain salt and lime.

For example, sharp river sand contains water-soluble minerals, and construction sand also contains different salts depending on the soil.

If sharp sand or mortar sand is used, it is a good idea to wash it well with water to remove the salt. This way, the salts do not affect the pH of the soil.

In general, construction sand is the cheapest of all alternatives; sharp sand is the second cheapest.


Whether you want to plant trees in your garden or composting food, you need to find the best soil for a healthy start.

So horticultural sand is one of the best ingredients for your soil if you want to dry it out and aerate it well for root growth. Keeping the soil in its porous state reduces water retention and improves the oxygen supply to plants.

We hope you now have enough information on the importance of horticultural sand and its use. Also how horticultural sand is different.

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