Greengates Builders Merchants

Decorative Aggregates: Silica Sand

With spring just around the corner, it's an ideal time to get out into the garden and start preparing it for the warmer weather to come. Greengate's, your local builders merchant, supply a range of decorative aggregates for garden use, including silica sand. Not only decorative, silica sand (also known as quartz sand), has many practical uses.

Many trees and plants prefer well-draining soils: ordinary compacted garden soils may kill plants by preventing roots spreading to find adequate moisture and nutrients. Silica sand, mixed with ordinary soil and organic matter, can help to achieve good drainage by allowing pockets of air and water to proliferate within, guaranteeing optimal root nourishment.

Silica sand has minimal influence on soil pH, unlike limestone sands which increase the pH of ordinary soil. This ensures that it creates the perfect environment for vigorous growth and flowering, even during periods of heavy rain.

A garden that has been properly landscaped does not have a totally flat surface: a slight slope of at least 1% helps to funnel rainwater away from buildings. Silica sand can help to create this essential slope when mixed into the surrounding soil, giving proper drainage both within the topsoil and along the surface. Perfect for use in transitional areas, silica sand creates a much more pleasing aesthetic than bare soil.

Silica sand can also be used as a supportive layer for retaining walls, especially useful in gardens with terraced hillsides where it can create a flat area ideal for planting. Once again, the material's drainage qualities come into plat: the area behind a wall must drain well in order to avoid the weight of wet soil and trapped water compromising the wall's stability.

Greengate's builders merchants supply dry and moist silica sand in bags of 25kg or, for a more cost-effective option, in bulk bags weighing appro­ximately one tonne. Find out more details about silica sand and our other decorative aggregates on the Greengate's website.

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