Grass & Weeds That Grow in the Sand
Several types of grass and weeds grow in the sand. This makes them popular in areas that have sandy soil, as opposed to loam or clay. The weeds and grasses are difficult to control and often take over yards, especially in times of drought.
Bermudagrass (Cynodon spp.) is common in areas with sandy soil. It is used for lawns, golf courses, parks and sports fields. According to the Texas A&M University, Bermudagrass was introduced to the United States at some time during the colonial period. Bermudagrass is also considered a weed, as it invades many crops, including sugarcane, corn, cotton and vineyards. It has deep rhizomes, which are underground stems that produce plants, and produces a copious quantity of seed.
The leaf sheaths grow up to 6 inches long and have a tuft of hairs that is 3/4 to 2 inches long. The leaf blades grow up to 6 inches long and 2 inches wide. It prefers subtropical and tropical climates and grows best in high temperatures with moderate rainfall. It grows in many soils from heavy clay to deep sand, and tolerates acid, alkaline and saline conditions.
Centipedegrass was introduced to the United States in 1916. It is native to Southeast Asia and China. It grows in the Southeastern United States, from South Carolina to Texas. It adapts well to the low-fertility conditions in the sandy soils in these Southern states. Centipedegrass has a coarse texture and spreads by stolons. The stolons creep along the round and have short, upright stems. It easily propagates by seed, but has a slow growth rate. It prefers full sun, but tolerates partial shade. It does not tolerate salty soils as much as Bermudagrass but does adapt if the sandy soil doesn't have too much saline.
Common beggar's-tick (Bidens alba), also known as hairy beggar's-tick, is part of the sunflower family. Its roots are at the lower nodes. The leaves have teeth and are hairy on the underside. The flowers are similar to daisies in color. The outer petals are white, and the disc inside the outer petals is composed of many tiny, yellow flowers. It is a weed common throughout Florida because of its sandy soils. One common beggar's-tick plant can produce up to 1,205 seeds, according to University of Florida. It could be controlled with herbicides, but the seeds germinate fast, so more than one application might be needed.
The coast sandspur, also known as the field sandbur, and is in the Gramineae family. The leaves are flat and feel like sandpaper on the top. This weed is an annual or a short-lived perennial. It produces seedheads with spiny burs throughout the year. The burs stick to clothing, pet hair and even bare skin. It prefers dry, sandy areas and is more prevalent in droughts and yards that are not watered frequently.