Agricultural Science

Sandy soil: Characteristics of sandy soil and ways to make it fertile

len Alfred Ajibola - 09th August, 2023 @ 10:06 AM

Topics in Agricultural Science

Clay soil explained with its types and characteristics Loamy soil explained with its characteristics Sandy soil: Characteristics of sandy soil and ways to make it fertile Soil explained with its composition Types of agricultural practices Crop rotation explained Benefits of crop rotation Differences between subsistence and commercial farming Subsistence farming explained with its characteristics What is commercial farming? Types of commercial farming Characteristics of commercial farming Importance of forest: Forest reserves in Nigeria Wildlife reserves in Nigeria and its importance Prevention and Control of Crop Pests Economic Importance of Crop Pests Classification of Insect Pests and their Economic Importance Agricultural machines and their uses Causes of soil erosion Ways to prevent soil erosion Asexual Propagation in Plants, Types and Examples

Academic Questions in Agricultural Science

Please click here to see all Questions and Answers

The ideal pH for the optimum growth of most agricultural crop is between _____.

  • A. 1 – 3.5

  • B. 4 – 5.5

  • C. 6 – 7.5

  • D. 8 – 9.5

  • E. 10 – 11.5

  • F. 12 – 13.5

People who go about their lives by raising and herding livestock such as cattle, sheep and goats are said to practice _____.

  • A. Pastoralism

  • B. Pasturalism

  • C. Herding

  • D. Herdsmen

  • E. Animalism

  • F. Anime Farming

The act of giving birth in pigs is called _____.

  • A. Calving

  • B. Piggery

  • C. Kidding

  • D. Farrowing

  • E. Calfing

  • F. Pigging

Which of the following is not a vegetable?

  • A. Cashew

  • B. Cocumber

  • C. Tomatoes

  • D. Carrot

  • E. Squash

  • F. Eggplant

All plants are crops.

  • A. True

  • B. False

In agriculture, macronutrients are essential nutrients required by plants. Which of the following is not a macronutrient?

  • A. Zinc

  • B. Sulphur

  • C. Calcium

  • D. Phosphorus

  • E. Potassium

  • F. Magnesium

Which of the following is false concerning micronutrients?

  • A. They are non-essential nutrients

  • B. They are required by plants in minute quantities

  • C. Iron is a micronutrient

  • D. Chlorine is a micronutrient

  • E. Copper is a micronutrient

  • F. Boron is a micronutrient

_____ is a term that describes the biological, chemical and cultural control tactics employed to make pest management economical, environmentally friendly and socially acceptable.

  • A. Integrated Pest Management

  • B. Integral Pest Management

  • C. International Pest Management

  • D. Inclusive Pest Management

  • E. Imbibed Pest Management

  • F. Inclusion Pest Management

Types of Soil:

Soil is considered as one of the numerous natural resources on earth; and can generally be classified into various types, with each serving their respective importance. Below are the types of soil:

  1. Sandy soil

  2. Loamy soil
    Please read on loamy soil here.

  3. Clay soil

  4. Silty soil

  5. Peaty soil

  6. Chalky or lime-rich soil

  7. Please read the introduction to soil here.


Sandy Soil

A soil is considered to be sandy when it has a higher proportion of sand particles comprising it. The chemical composition for a sample of sandy soil is largely silica (SiO2) or quartz.

Understand that soil can be comprised of various particules such as silt, sand, clay, stones and so on. However, when the ratio of sand is way higher than other particles, such is termed a sandy soil.

You can read on separation of mixtures here.


Structurally, sandy soil can be coarse, gritty, grained, dry, warm and light in appearance. They tend to be acidic, nutrient deficient, and with large pore spaces. In this regard, their ability is retain water is very low. However, air, heat and cold weather conditions can rapidly penetrate through the soil. Based on this fact, they easily get warmed up during the day and cooled at night.

You can read on agricultural land, types and uses here.


Erosion and waterlogging are usually absent in places where sandy soil are present. In fact, they are often used to fill waterlogged areas, thus preventing erosion in the process.

Below is a diagram showing a sandy soil.

Sandy Soil - Len Academy

Please read on ways to prevent soil erosion here.


Compared to other soil types, the particles of sandy soil are relatively large.

Please read on clay soil explained with its types and characteristics here.


It is noteworthy to state that sandy soil presents an environment for the survival of crops with a strong root system. These crops will also grow well in an acidic environment which the sandy soil provides. Examples of crops that thrives on sandy soil include carrot, cucumber, potatoes, onions, cotton, groundnut, coneflower, barberry, radishes and beets.

You can read the differences between plants and crops here.


Characteristics of sandy soil

  1. Sandy soil can be grained, coarse, or gritty in structure.

  2. They have a bright brownish coloration.

  3. The particles are widely separated, thus making them loose with large pore spaces.

  4. They are well aerated.
    You can attempt agricultural science questions and answers here.

  5. Sandy soil easily absorbs water without being waterlogged. They therefore have a low capacity for holding water.

  6. Nutrients can be easily washed away in sandy soil through a process termed leaching.

  7. It absorbs and loses water easily.

  8. It is not sticky when wet and cannot form a cast or ribbon.
    Please read key-points in agricultural science here.

  9. Percolation in sandy soil is high but capillarity is low.

  10. Sandy soil heats up easily during the day and cools down quickly at night.

  11. It isn't the ideal soil for planting most crops. However, it supports the growth of certain crops like cotton, onion and cassava.

  12. When mixed with cement, sandy soil can be utilized for construction purposes.

  13. It is typically used in hydraulic filling (sand filling), thus preventing waterlogging and subsequent erosion.
    Please read on the causes of soil erosion here.


Ways to make sandy soil fertile

  1. The fertility of sandy soil can be improved upon by the addition of organic matter. This provides beneficial microorganisms to the soil, while also improving its water retention capacity.

  2. Planting of cover crops (or green manure crops) on sandy soil can aid its retention of nutrients and moisture.
    Please read on crop rotation here.

  3. By increasing the water retention capacity of sandy soil via adding a layer of mulch above it. This process is termed mulching, and it could be as simple as placing cut grasses over the soil.

  4. Installing an irrigation system for frequent watering of the soil.
    Please read on agricultural tools and their uses here.

  5. Addition of biochar to sandy soil. This will significantly increase the soil's ability to hold nutrients. It also increases the soil's water retention capacity. This function of biochar further provides a healthy environment for beneficial soil microorganisms.

  6. Addition of bentonite clay will help improve the moisture holding ability of sandy soil. The bentonite clay of reference are sodium bentonite and calcium bentonite.

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Amazing facts in Agricultural Science

Cows technically have one stomach, not four. However, a cow's stomach has four compartments. These are: rumen, reticulum, omasum and abomasum

Peanuts are legumes and not nuts

Although plants neither see nor hear, they can recognize their siblings and even give them preferential treatments

Squirrels do plant more trees (through their actions) than an average human in their lifetime. They often hide their acorns and nuts underground and forget about them

Cows have got the ability to walk up stairs, but not down stairs

A group of cows is called a team, drove or herd.

People just prefer to call them herd

Notable points in Agricultural Science

Below are characteristics of gymnosperms:

  1. Their seeds have cones that protect them.

  2. Sepals and petals aren't present in their cones.

  3. Stigma and style are absent.

  4. They do not produce fruits. Only seeds are formed.

  5. Companion cells are absent.

  6. Sporophyll form the cones.

  7. Anther and filament are absent.

  8. The ovules are not present in the ovary.

  9. Gymnosperms do not possess flowers.

  10. Please read on the anatomical differences between gymnosperms and angiosperms here

The flower is the reproductive organ in plants' sexual reproduction. In order to achieve a successful sexual propagation or reproduction in plants, the floral parts of the flower are utilized.

The floral parts of a flower consists of the followings:

  1. Sepals

  2. Petals

  3. Stamen

  4. Carpel

The stamen is male portion of a plant. It consists of the anther and filament.

The carpel (or pistil) is the female portion of the plant. It consists of the stigma, style and ovary.

Please read more on plants' sexual reproduction here

An organism will be considered a pest if it does one of the followings:

  • Attack crops and eat its seeds, roots, stem, leaves and flowers. Examples are locust and grasshoppers.

  • Cause damage to stored food, fruits or other agricultural produce. Some may even urinate or deaficate on these products. Examples are rodents, cockroaches and mice.

  • Attack and kill farm animals like goats, sheep and cattle. Examples are foxes, wild cats and snakes.

  • Act as disease vectors. A vector is an organism that carries parasite and other disease causing organisms, without being affected; but when they introduce the parasites into their host, such host becomes infected with disease. Examples of vectors are rodents and mosquitoes.

    Please read more on vectors of diseases here.

Below are the classification of crops based on their uses:

  • Oil crops

  • Vegetable crops

  • Latex crops

  • Drug and Medicinal crops

  • Beverage crops

  • Fibre crops

  • Fruit crops

  • Root and Tubers

  • Legumes

  • Spices

  • Cereals

All crops are plants but not all plants are crops. Below are some instances:

  • Weeds are considered as plants, not crops.

  • Parasitic plants are not necessarily crops. Examples of parasitic plants include mistletoe, corpse flower and striga.

  • Carnivorous or insectivorous plants are not necessarily crops. Examples are sundew, venus flytrap and pitcher plant. The image below shows a carnivorous plant (venus flytrap).

Venus flytrap - Len Academy


Meanwhile, always understand that all crops are plants, and they are grown for food, money or something beneficial.

Please read on plants versus crops here