Growing A Lawn In Sandy Soil - Sandy Soil Lawn Care

Large Green Lawn Area
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If you live in an area of sandy soil and think a lawn is never going to happen, think again. The key is sowing grass seed that is drought tolerant with deep roots to absorb water and nutrients. There’s no reason to throw in the towel and settle for a lawnless view that comes with sandy soil. Read on to learn more.

About Lawn for Sand

The ideal soil makeup for turf grass is 70% sand, 15% clay and 15% silt. Sandy soil is considered to be soil that is made up of over 50% sand. This means that growing a lawn in sandy soil isn’t as hard as one might think. Many turf grasses are suited as grass for sandy soil. 

Types of Grass for Sandy Soil

When choosing grass for sandy soil, your climate matters. For instance if you live in the warm regions of the Gulf Coast, grasses such as bahia grass (Paspalum notatum), centipede grass (Eremochloa ophiuroides), carpet grass (Axonopus affinis) and St. Augustine grass (Stenotaphrum secondatum) are excellent options. 

In the cooler coastal regions, favorable lawn types for sand include Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis and the fine fescues (Festuca spp.) both of which thrive in USDA zones 2-7. 

Other options for growing a lawn in sandy soil include Bermuda grass and zoysia grass. Bermuda grass is a perennial warm season grass that enjoys full sunlight while zoysia, hardy to USDA zones 6-9 is known for deep roots. Zoysia develops fairly slowly in comparison to other turf grass while Bermuda spreads rapidly to form a carpet like matt of turf. 

How to Plant a Lawn in Sandy Soil

Grass for sandy soil benefits greatly from the addition of organic material such as compost, aged manure, bark or peat moss to aid in moisture retention and add nutrients. 

  • It is recommended to incorporate 2 inches (5 cm.) of organic material into the top 6 inches (15 cm.) of soil prior to sowing grass seed. 
  • As you till in the organic material, remove any debris and large stones. 
  • Mix a phosphorus rich fertilizer into the top sandy soil and compost. 
  • Spread the grass seed according to the grower’s instructions. 
  • Cover the grass seed lightly with the amended sandy soil using the back of a garden rake. 
  • Water the grass seed on a daily basis until moist to ensure germination. 

Sandy Soil Lawn Care

You’ve given your grass for sandy soil a good start by amending the soil, but all turf grass benefits from a regular application of fertilizer, sandy soils even more so. 

All new turf should be fertilized once a month with a balanced dry fertilizer at the rate of a pound (500 g) of nitrogen per square foot (.09 sq. m.) of lawn. In the case of sandy soil, additional fertilization of a nitrogen only food should be applied between regular feedings in the amount of an additional pound (500 g.) per 1,000 square feet (93 sq. m.). 

Keep your lawn for sandy soil consistently moist but not overwatered. 

Amy Grant

Amy Grant has been gardening for 30 years and writing for 15. A professional chef and caterer, Amy's area of expertise is culinary gardening.