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How to Grow a Lawn With Sandy Soil

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Grass grows naturally in many environments and climates. Although most grass thrives in well-drained loamy soils, some types of grass survive and grow in less-healthy soil conditions. Sandy soil poses a problem for homeowners and landscape designers. Because sandy soil is so porous, it quickly sheds water, allowing little time for roots to absorb the moisture. Many areas of sandy soil also lack necessary nutrients. Grow a healthy lawn on sandy soil by carefully selecting grass seed and amending the existing soil.

Cut and pull out any existing vegetation. Remove all traces of weeds and previous plant growth. Rake up debris and dead leaves from your planting site to provide a clean surface for your new lawn.

Test the soil on your site to determine the pH level and amount of existing nutrients. Obtain a soil test kit and follow all the enclosed directions provided with the test kit. Once you receive the results, incorporate any recommended soil additives into your existing soil to regulate the pH level and add missing nutrients.

Add organic compounds to your sandy soil to increase the moisture retention. Spread a layer of compost or peat over the surface of your planting site. Work these amendments into the top few inches of the soil with a garden tiller. Smooth the disturbed surface with a garden rake to provide a level bed for your lawn grass.

Purchase a variety of lawn grass capable of growing on sandy sites. Blue grama grass and Galleta grass both grow well in sandy soils. Spread your selected grass seed over your prepared site with a seed broadcaster. Set the disbursement rate on your broadcaster to match the recommended seeding rate on your package of grass seed. Evenly distribute the seed by making a few light passes over your lawn area, rather than one, heavy pass.

Sprinkle water on your newly planted grass seed until the surface of the soil looks evenly damp. Keep the surface slightly moist during germination. Begin tapering off the frequency of watering as the grass grows. Keep a slight amount of moisture at root level for developing grass. Check this by inserting a finger into the soil near a section of grass. The soil should feel slightly cool and moist at a depth of 1 to 2 inches. Water your sandy soil more frequently during times of drought or drying winds.


Leave the grass clipping on your lawn after mowing. These clippings help sandy soil retain moisture.

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