Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

The Best Fertilizers for Lawn in Sandy Soil

...
green lawn image by Vladimir Koshkarov from Fotolia.com

Sandy soil presents some challenges when it comes to establishing a lawn. Water drains away quickly, as does anything that dissolves in water. Sandy soil lawns need more frequent fertilization, in smaller quantity, than denser, clay-based soils. Fertilizing with products that won't leach away and those that improve soil structure contribute to a beautiful, healthy lawn.

Compost

While not strictly a "fertilizer," nothing will improve a sandy-soil lawn more than the incorporation of compost into the soil, according to the Washington State University Extension Service. It will help sandy soil hold on to both nutrients and water. Core aeration followed by topdressing the lawn with 1/4 inch of compost annually will improve soil structure and reduce thatch, according to the Ohio State University Extension Service. Many municipalities now compost yard waste and leaf litter and sell it in bulk for this application.

  • Sandy soil presents some challenges when it comes to establishing a lawn.
  • Core aeration followed by topdressing the lawn with 1/4 inch of compost annually will improve soil structure and reduce thatch, according to the Ohio State University Extension Service.

Synthetic Slow-Release Fertilizer

Through various chemical and physical methods, fertilizer manufacturers offer products where the nitrogen (the element most essential to a beautiful lawn) is bound in the product and releases gradually over time. This feature is of the utmost importance in sandy soil. Normal synthetic fertilizers, which are water soluble, will quite literally wash away, robbing you of your beautiful lawn and fouling the watershed at the same time. The University of Florida recommends application of 1 lb. of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet for fertilizers containing 30 percent or higher slow-release nitrogen and 1/2 lb. per 1,000 square feet if it contains less than 30 percent slow release nitrogen.

Organic Fertilizers

Organic fertilizers are slow-release and water-insoluble by nature, making them an excellent option for sandy soil. They do not provide the immediate results you can obtain with synthetic fertilizer, but their effect is longer lived and more environmentally friendly, according to Ohio State University. Organics add micronutrients to the soil in addition to nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. They contribute to soil health, not just plant growth. Compared to synthetic fertilizers, organic fertilizers are bulky, and require more product be applied to achieve the same input levels of the main nutrients.

  • Through various chemical and physical methods, fertilizer manufacturers offer products where the nitrogen (the element most essential to a beautiful lawn) is bound in the product and releases gradually over time.
  • They do not provide the immediate results you can obtain with synthetic fertilizer, but their effect is longer lived and more environmentally friendly, according to Ohio State University.

Related Articles

How to Fix a Lawn That Holds Water
How to Fix a Lawn That Holds Water
Ammonium Sulfate As a Lawn Fertilizer
Ammonium Sulfate As a Lawn Fertilizer
Gypsum Uses for Lawns
Gypsum Uses for Lawns
How to Make Grass Fertilizer With Beer
How to Make Grass Fertilizer With Beer
Alternatives to Weed & Feed
Alternatives to Weed & Feed
What Is Humus Fertilizer?
What Is Humus Fertilizer?
The Best Way to Kill Weeds in Bermuda Grass
The Best Way to Kill Weeds in Bermuda Grass
Spike Aerator Vs. Plug Aerator
Spike Aerator Vs. Plug Aerator
The Best Fertilizers for Floratam St. Augustine Grass
The Best Fertilizers for Floratam St. Augustine Grass
Porosity of Different Types of Soils
Porosity of Different Types of Soils
Iron in Soils
Iron in Soils
How to Exterminate Earthworms
How to Exterminate Earthworms
What Are the Benefits of Peat Moss?
What Are the Benefits of Peat Moss?
How to Soften Clay Soil
How to Soften Clay Soil
Scotts Lawn Fertilizer & Pets
Scotts Lawn Fertilizer & Pets
Will Beer Work to Rid the Lawn of Thatch?
Will Beer Work to Rid the Lawn of Thatch?
Homemade Lawn Dye
Homemade Lawn Dye
Garden Guides
×