Sand is an important component in soil texture, which is in all soils in different amounts. Sand is used for soil mixes, rooting cuttings and modifying soil texture. Sand is also used to improve drainage and aeration properties of soil. There are many kinds of sand available, but only certain types will benefit planting.
The best type of sand to use for gardening is screened sand. Screened sand has grains that are uniform in size. Choose sand that is washed so all chemicals and contaminants are cleaned out of the sand. The sand used for planting is commonly called granite, yellow or builder's sand. This type of sand is sold in garden centers.
Sand for planting is coarse sand. This creates more space between particles of soil and improves aeration or oxygen content between the roots. It also allows excess water to quickly drain away so the roots are not waterlogged.
Adding too much sand to your soil makes the soil dry and infertile. Do not use fine white sand that may cause soil compaction and eliminates the air pockets in the soil that plants need. Do not use beach sand since it is full of salts and other contaminants.