|MadSci Network: Botany|
The answer can be yes or no depending on the situation. Actually, sand is a type of soil. Soils are composed of three particle sizes: sand (0.05 to 2.0 mm diameter), silt (0.002 to 0.05 mm) and clay (less than 0.002 mm). Soils are named based on the percent by weight of sand, silt and clay they contain using a soil textural triangle. Sandy soils generally have low fertility, low water holding capacity but high aeration. Aeration is important because plant roots require oxygen. High aeration also means water will drain quickly from the soil during heavy rain. Fertility is a measure of how well the soil can supply the plant with essential mineral nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Clay soils usually have high water holding capacity and high fertility but low aeration. The best soils for plants are usually a mixture of sand, silt, and clay, termed loams. They have good levels of fertility, water holding capacity and aeration. Sandy soils can grow excellent plants if adequate water and fertilizer are supplied. If watering is infrequent and adequate fertilizer is not applied, then plants in a loam may grow much better than those in sand. Plant researchers used to grow plants in pure sand for mineral nutrition experiments. Grass growing in pure sand is popular for golf putting greens and football fields in pro and college stadiums because sand does not compact like loams, drains well even during heavy rain, and doesn't muddy uniforms. Reference Soil Textural Triangle
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