How to Make Grass Grow in Sandy Soil


Growing grass in sandy soil can be more challenging than cultivating a lawn in other soil types. Typically, sandy soil is identifiable by its light, gritty texture. Sandy soils are renowned for their lack of nutrients, their acidity, and their inability to retain moisture for any length of time. These factors make growing grass in this type of soil difficult without first amending some of the soil's properties.


Step 1

Choose a grass seed that is adapted for sandy soils. Centipede and Bermuda grass, for example, are well suited for sandy soils.

Step 2

Add organic materials to the soil. If sowing a new lawn, spread a 2-inch layer of organic matter, such as peat moss or compost, atop the soil.

Step 3

Prepare the seedbed. Use a rototiller to incorporate the organic matter into the sandy soil and break up any clumps in the soil.

Step 4

Level the ground. Flatten the soil surface by passing a lawn roller over the entire area.

Step 5

Plant the grass seed. Mix 1/3 pound of grass seed with one gallon of sand per 1000 square feet of lawn to be sown. Using a broadcast seed spreader, distribute the seed mixture over top the lawn area.

Step 6

Sink the grass seed. Use the lawn roller over the entire seeded area to sink the grass seed into the soil. Follow up with a light watering, and keep the soil moist for the next two to three weeks.

Watering Once Established

Step 1

Measure the depth of the roots. Using a soil probe or a small, hand-held shovel, dig up a small section of grass. Measure the length of the grass roots, from the tip of the root to the bottom of the grass blade, with a measuring tape or ruler.

Step 2

Water the grass according to the root length. In sandy soil, water will penetrate approximately 6 inches per ½ of applied water. Water only enough to reach the tips of the grass roots.

Step 3

Water frequently. Sandy soil does not retain moisture for extended periods of time and, therefore, requires frequent watering to avoid wilting of the grass.

Step 4

Water during the cooler temperatures of the early morning or evening to avoid water loss due to evaporation.

Tips and Warnings

  • Not all grass types thrive in shady areas. When choosing a grass seed for a predominately shady lawn, look for shade-tolerant varieties.

Things You'll Need

  • Grass seed
  • Peat moss or compost
  • Rototiller
  • Lawn roller
  • Water
  • Soil probe or small shovel
  • Measuring tape or ruler


  • Colorado State University
  • Texas A&M University: Centipede Grass
  • The Seed Site: Soil Types

Who Can Help

  • Landscape Plants for Sandy Soils
Keywords: grass sandy soil, growing grass sand, plant lawn, grow sandy-soil grass

About this Author

Sophia Darby is a former professional hairstylist who has spent the last six years writing hair-related articles for both online and print publications. Her work has appeared in Celebrity Hairstyles Magazine, as well as multiple websites.