Are you looking for the best grass seed options for your sandy soil? Don't worry. This shouldn't be too complicated. Keep in mind that not every grass species can thrive as expected in sandy soil– like those near the beaches of Miami.
You will need to go with grass seed that thrives in the sand: such as Bermuda grass, bahiagrass, tall fescue, and Zoysia. These turfgrasses develop deep roots that absorb water and nutrients efficiently in quick-draining sandy soils.
Let's discuss the suitable grass seeds to consider for your sandy soil.
6 Grass Types that Thrive Well in Sandy Soil
As previously mentioned, several grass seed varieties grow well in sandy soil. Here are some of them:
In particular, creeping red fescue grows best in sandy soils (as long as it is well-drained with a pH of 5.5 to 8.0). Besides sandy soil, it can also thrive in gravels, pebble beaches, and sea coasts.
Since red fescue grows gradually, it has considerably low maintenance. Peak seasons of rapid growth are usually observed in the spring and late summer months.
Our top pick for fescue grass seed is from Eretz, which cultivated a tall fescue grass that has increased durability. It can withstand heavy foot traffic and even slight drought conditions. Its root system can extend to 5 feet in depth, which reaches the water deposits and minerals deep in the sandy soil.
The following grass seed to consider for sandy soil is Zoysia grass. It thrives well in high heat and drought conditions, given its long and robust root structure.
Once this turfgrass begins to take root, it sticks around and spreads rather quickly to form a dense, lush turf. You can also count on Zoysia grass to withstand foot traffic well. While it grows best given frequent sunlight exposure, some Zoysia grass variants can also thrive well in the shade.
To save you the hassle of germinating seeds, Florida Foliage has 18 zoysia grass plugs. These are ready to be planted 15 inches apart in your sandy soil yard. Over time, these grass plugs will ultimately grow together to form 32 sq ft of dense Zoysia grass.
Expert tip: Expose the grass to 4 to 6 hours of sunlight daily to grow into a lush, durable carpet perfect for playtime.
This warm-season grass is another excellent choice for sandy soils. It only requires well-drained soil with less water content, making it suitable for sandy conditions. When compared to other warm-season grass types, you'll find that Bermuda grass grows rather quickly. It takes a while for this turf to establish, but it spreads fast– you'll notice a dense turf in no time.
The two most popular Bermuda grass varieties are Riviera Bermuda and Yukon Bermuda. They have excellent drought and cold resistance to thrive well in transition zones. One downside you need to know in picking Bermuda grass is that it requires constant sunlight exposure. Or else it will not grow well. (Related: Best Fertilizers for Bermuda Grass: A Buyers Guide 2022)
The Scotts EZ Seed Bermuda Grass excels in sandy soil, given its high heat tolerance and remarkable drought resistance. Even in arid soil and scorching heat– this turfgrass thrives well with its long roots (up to 6 feet).
It is combined with mulch and fertilizer, with the seeds coated in a tackifier. This helps the grass seeds bind to the soil and protect them from being washed away. The protective layer also helps keep the seedlings safe from fungal diseases, which can be dangerous to new grass.
Centipede grass is another turfgrass that can thrive in sandy soil, which features low maintenance. It doesn't need that much watering, so it grows well in sandy conditions. This warm-season grass has its peak growth period in the spring and summer. It boasts excellent resistance to extreme heat, and it has a more shallow root system than other warm-season turfgrasses.
Are you looking for a low-maintenance yard? The Scotts Turf Builder centipede grass is a great option to consider. Its densely-packed leaves choke out weeds and have a gradual growth– so it reduces the need for you to mow the lawn frequently.
You will need to ensure adequate sun and light shade to ensure the nutritional needs of centipede grass, which can also thrive in acidic soil.
This perennial warm-season turfgrass also thrives well in sandy soil. Its deep root system encourages heat and drought tolerance– so it can adapt to almost any soil condition. Notably, Bahia grass is also low maintenance. It doesn't need frequent watering to grow, making it ideal in the Southeast lawns with sandy soils. However, you can't expect the densest yard if you choose this turfgrass.
If you want a thick, carpet-like lawn, you might want to consider other grass options we've presented above.
The Scotts Turf Builder is an excellent choice to consider in the Deep South, especially with frequent heat, humidity, and drought conditions.
Bahia grass roots can grow up to 8 feet in depth, which features excellent stability to withstand heavy and frequent foot traffic. The grass seeds are also coated to encourage their water absorption properties, making it easier for the turf to take root and grow. You can expect the Bahia grass to sprout after 7 to 14 days.
Bonus: Seville St. Augustine
Lastly, St. Augustine grass also thrives well in sandy soil environments. In particular, the Seville variety grows even in poor soil conditions. So if you’re unsure of the pH levels in your sandy soil, this is your safest bet! You can count on this turf grass to survive low to high pH levels. (Related: Homeowners Guide to St Augustine Grass: Care & Problems)
This semi-dwarf St. Augustine turfgrass variety offers remarkable horizontal compact growth, requiring less mowing compared to other sod types. Each plug must be placed around 6 to 12 inches apart. Under ideal conditions, it takes about 3 to 4 months to witness full coverage.
The Best Grass Seed for Sandy Soil
At the end of the day, choose a drought-resistant, hardy turfgrass species for your sandy soil. Grass types that can grow and develop sturdy root systems are recommended, especially with the poor nutritional value in sandy soil environments.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What’s a common issue with sandy soil?
The trouble with sandy soil is that it drains quickly and may not be able to keep nutrients and moisture for extended periods. Therefore, improving the soil quality before planting your lawn in places with sandy soil is highly recommended.
How do I treat my lawn that’s located in sandy soil?
A compost layer can be added to sandy soil to help the grass grow a dense thatch layer that will keep it rooted to the ground. You can also use nitrogen and potassium fertilizers, two nutrients that grass and plants need to develop.
What month is best to put grass seed down?
The best month for planting grass seed depends on where you live. Due to the warm soil, moderate daytime temperatures, and cold overnight temperatures that stimulate quick germination, the late summer and early autumn months are usually the best options.