Sandy soil has the largest particles among the different soil types. It’s dry and gritty to the touch, and because the particles have huge spaces between them, it can’t hold on to water.

Water drains rapidly, straight through to places where the roots, particularly those of seedlings, cannot reach. Plants don’t have a chance of using the nutrients in sandy soil more efficiently as they’re swiftly carried away by the runoff.

The upside to sandy soil is that it’s light to work with and warms much more quickly in the spring.

Testing what type of soil you’re working with involves moistening the soil and rolling it into a ball to check the predominating soil particle. When you roll the slightly wet sandy soil in your palms, no ball should be formed and it crumbles through your fingers easily.