Growing Grass in Sandy Soil: A Complete Guide

Growing Grass in Sandy Soil

Soil is an important element in order to have a healthy lawn. But what if you have sandy soil? Don’t you worry! You can still have a healthy lawn despite having sandy soil.

Here’s your complete guide to growing grass in sandy soil. 

About Sandy Soil

Sandy soil is coarse. That characteristic makes it a poor soil for growing most types of plants including grass. 

Here’s the thing

That coarseness will prevent nutrients from penetrating the soil and consequently being distributed to the plants. 

Sandy soil also has a lower capacity in handling water. To put it simply, sandy soil drains water really quickly.

It’s not the end of the world

There is still a way to improve sandy soil to make it better for vegetation. 

Although, there are still a lot of plants that would thrive in sandy soil. However, fertilization would be essential. 

Here are some of the plants that grow in sandy soil:

  1. Beans
  2. Carrots
  3. Corn
  4. Collard greens
  5. Lettuce
  6. Potatoes
  7. Radishes
  8. Tomatoes
  9. Watermelon
  10. Zucchini

These are just 10, by the way. There are actually more!

You know what?

Sandy soil may not be popular among gardeners or garden enthusiasts, but it still has some advantages. 

For one, it drains really well. For all its coarseness, it’s also less dense. 

Then, digging into it would be really easy as well. 


Sandy soil is actually less vulnerable to diseases caused by fungi and bacteria. 

Finally, it is easy to warm up compared to the other types of soil. 

See? Not bad at all

But grass is another matter. 


Soil is an important element in trying to grow grass. Even if grass seeds germinate in sandy soil, it’s not going to grow healthy. 

What’s the point of having grass when it can’t be lush, right?

In other words

You need the right soil in order to have a lawn. Sandy soil just doesn’t have the necessary nutrients to allow grass to thrive. 

Or it doesn’t have the properties to hold certain nutrients. 

The good thing is that you can actually do something about it. 

Growing Grass in Sandy Soil

Sometimes, you don’t have a choice with the soil that you have. You might move into a house with sandy soil in the yard. 

If it’s a good deal, you can’t just say no to the house because of the soil. At least, with the soil, you can actually do something about it. 


Having sandy soil isn’t the end of your dreams of having a blanket of grass at home where you can hang out and play with the entire family. 

Here is your complete guide to growing grass in sandy soil:

1. Test the soil

Actually, even if you don’t have sandy soil, it’s always important to test it before you start planting in it. 

You need to have knowledge of what you are dealing with so you can treat it the right way. 

There are properties present in the soil that could be good or bad for fertility. Knowing those would lead to proper fertility management. 


Knowing the nutrient content of the soil will mean that you don’t need to unnecessarily spend money on fertilizer. 

You will only buy what you need, so there will be no indiscriminate buying of fertilizers. Besides, overfertilization will not be good for your plants or grass for this matter. 


Knowing the composition of the soil will also allow you to find the right type of grass to grow in your soil. 

This way, you can employ the best care for it. 

What you should know about sandy soil

Generally, this type of soil is low in organic matter. This is why sandy soil is considered a great-draining lawn soil. 

However, as they say, too much of a good thing may not be that good. And that’s exactly what sandy soil entails. It’s too good at draining. 

Which means

The grass may not have access to a substantial amount of water because it is easily drained. It’s the organic matter that will help hold the water. 


What’s the point?

If you already know that sandy soil lacks organic matter, why do you need to test it? Because you want to know by how much. 

You need to figure out how much organic matter should be added to the soil to have healthy grass. 

This leads us to the next step. 

2. Add organic matter

Now, you can add organic matter into the soil. Just add enough to increase soil fertility. 

Organic matter is absolutely necessary in binding the soil together so that air and water can properly move within the soil and through the roots of the grass. 

It retains moisture, which is very important. Plus, it can also properly absorb nutrients. 

Very important indeed!

How do you add organic matter? By adding any of these to your soil:

  1. Compost
  2. Mulch
  3. Peat moss
  4. Aged animal manure

3. Now, you’re ready to plant!

You can now plant your grass seeds. 

After adding organic matter to your soil, it is now fertile. Still, it would be best to actually plant the most fitting types of grass to ensure a healthy lawn in the future. 

What can you plant?

  • Bahia
  • Bermuda
  • Centipede
  • Fescue
  • Zoysia

Something to think about:

It’s already challenging enough to grow grass on sandy soil. If you choose the wrong type of grass, you would have an even harder time growing a lush and beautiful blanket of grass. 

The types of grass mentioned above can tolerate extreme heat and even drought. These make them compatible with sandy soil. 

4. Make sure to provide sufficient amount of water

Water is life. 

Just because the above-mentioned grass can survive drought doesn’t mean that it can survive without water. 

Watering the seeds is also a very crucial step during germination. At this stage, you might have to water the area at least once a day. 

Emphasis on AT LEAST

Yep! That’s because if it’s hot out, you might have to water the seeds more than once. 

Again, we have to point out that sandy soil drains the water quickly. Even if you have already added organic matter, the fact remains, it’s still predominantly a sandy soil. 

You should not allow the grass seeds to dry out. 


When you purchase your grass seeds, the package has a set of care instructions. It details how often and how much you should water the seeds during germination and when it is already growing blades. 

5. Mowing the grass

Maintenance is still an important part of growing grass. Mowing is also an integral maintenance activity for the lawn. 

Keep grass at three inches for your routine mowing. 

Take note:

Grass with longer blades also has longer roots. This is why you need to maintain longer grass blades to encourage longer roots. 

Since sandy soil doesn’t really retain moisture, having longer roots would mean that a larger part of the plant will be able to hold on to the nutrients. 

How to encourage deep roots?

It’s about infrequent but deep watering. You won’t have to water the plants every day, but when you do, it should be deep. 

How deep? Six to eight inches would suffice. You can water once or twice a week. 


Infrequent and deep watering is for maintenance purposes only. During germination, the seeds or seedlings will have to be watered at least once a day. 

6. Frequent fertilization

Lawn on sandy soil needs more frequent fertilization because of the soil’s ability to drain water quickly. 

But you also don’t want to over-fertilize so you have to do it in small quantities. 

What type of fertilizer?

Choose slow-release fertilizers, whether you are going the organic or synthetic route.  


So, you have sandy soil at home? Don’t fret! You can still have that dream lawn of yours. There are simple tips to ensure that you can have healthy grass despite the type of soil you have in the yard. 

Growing grass in sandy soil entails understanding of what you have. The first step is to test the soil. Yes, you have sandy soil and surely you will need to integrate organic matter into the soil. But how much organic matter?

You already know that sandy soil doesn’t really retain moisture, so you have to choose a type of grass that will thrive in that environment. Then of course, you have to water sufficiently to make up for the draining characteristic of the sandy soil.

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