ingrid_vc

Serious problem with water not penetrating my sandy soil

It hasn't rained in months and I was shocked yesterday to find that even drip watering to most plants has not penetrated more deeply than half an inch at most, and when I dug downward the soil was completely dry. Apparently this happens to sandy soil when there have been no saturating rains in a while. The situation was the same everywhere, under trees, shrubs and roses. The dry soil becomes hydrophobic and creates a barrier at the top through which water will not pass. The main solution seems to be to incorporate a lot of organic matter into the soil, which I don't have and wouldn't have the energy to do anyway. Another is to break the barrier with slightly soapy water but again that is beyond my capabilities. I've slowly broken up the soil under some trees so that they at least will receive water and my husband has helped with that, but I don't know what to do about the hundreds of other plants that have the same problem. The wonder of it is that anything has survived under these conditions. Should I get bagged compost and slowly apply it to all the plants as my energy allows? Any and all advice would be appreciated since I feel this problem has reached critical proportions.

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