How to Grow Grass on a Sand Base


Growing grass on a sand base is challenging because sand is less dense, drying out faster than other soil types. If you amend the soil to make it more nutrient-rich and moist, the grass seed will take root quicker and more effective.

Step 1

Clear debris such as sticks and stones from the planting location. Break up soil clumps that are larger than 1 inch in diameter. Grass seed needs to touch soil to germinate. It won't take root if there is too much debris.

Step 2

Level the planting area to prevent dips, which cause water the pool. Add topsoil to low-lying spots and rake until smooth.

Step 3

Loosen at least the top 4 inches of sand with a rototiller. The more air pockets present, the better the roots will spread.

Step 4

Add nutrients to the sand base. Spread 6 inches of compost on top of the sand base to increase moisture.

Step 5

Till the compost until it is well blended with the sand base. Make sure it is combined fully.

Step 6

Lay down some starter seed fertilizer, following the instructions on the label. You can also use a product high in phosphorus. Mix the food into the top few inches of the amended sand.

Step 7

Spread grass seed with a hand or mechanical spreader, depending on the size of the planting area. Spread it evenly to avoid gaps or overseeding.

Step 8

Rake the seed gently into the amended soil and water until moist. Keep the soil moist by watering daily. Because the sand base lacks some nutrients, you need to pay it extra attention.

Tips and Warnings

  • When working with sand, you need to pay close attention to watering the seed. If it dries out, as much as 30 percent of the seed will die. Do not walk on the grass until it's established.

Things You'll Need

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


  • All About Lawns: Getting to Know Your Lawn
  • Spring Green: Lawn Seeding Tips
  • "This Old House": When to Plant Grass Seed
Keywords: grass in sand, plant grass, amend sandy soil

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.