The Best Method to Plant Grass Seed in Sandy Soil


Grass seed will grow in any type of soil, but sandy soil is challenging. The sand is less dense and dries out much faster than other types of soil. You have to add nutrients to the ground before spreading the seed so that it will germinate properly. Watering is also especially important to ensure that the soil does not dry out; 30 percent of grass seed can fail to germinate if it dries out. Grass seed should be planted in sandy soil in the spring or summer.

Step 1

Remove debris from the planting area. Pick up sticks and stones, and pull out weeds. Grass seed needs direct contact with soil to germinate. It will not root on top of debris.

Step 2

Get rid of any dips or low-lying areas. Add soil and rake it to level it off so that water doesn't gather in these areas. Grass seed will not grow in heavily wet areas.

Step 3

Loosen the top 6 inches of the sand with a rototiller. Grass roots won't grow as well in firmly packed ground.

Step 4

Amend the sand to enhance the nutrients. Add 6 inches of compost to the top of the sand. This will increase moisture in the soil, which helps the grass seed germinate.

Step 5

Mix the compost into the sand with a rototiller. Work at it until it is combined evenly.

Step 6

Apply a starter seed fertilizer to the soil, as per the label instructions. A product high in phosphorus will also work. Combine it with the top few inches of soil.

Step 7

Spread the grass seed with a hand or mechanical spreader. Make sure it's evenly spread to avoid gaps or overseeding.

Step 8

Lightly rake the seed into the amended soil. Water until moist. Overwatering will cause the seeds to float away. Water daily until the seed germinates. Because the sand loses nutrients, you need to pay it extra attention.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not walk on the grass until it's established.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hoe or rototiller
  • Compost
  • Rake
  • Fertilizer
  • Grass seed
  • Mechanical or hand spreader


  • This Old House :When to Plant Grass Seed
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Keywords: plant grass seed, sandy soil, grass in sand

About this Author

Kelly Shetsky has been a broadcast journalist for more than 10 years, researching, writing, producing and reporting daily on many topics. In addition, she writes for several websites, specializing in medical, health and fitness, arts and entertainment, travel and business. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marist College.