Sometimes, the soil we have on our property isn’t what we would consider ideal for growing healthy, successful grass. However, with a bit of research, you’ll find that there are some grass types out there that do find your soil conditions ideal. Sandy soil is a common problem for most grass types, but there’s plenty of options that can thrive in this environment.
So, if you have sandy soil and are thinking about installing a new lawn, you’ll be glad to know that you actually have a lot of options. Let’s go over what I believe to be some of the best grass choices available for sandy soil.
The Short Answer: Sandy Soil Grass (The Short Answer).
Sandy soil makes up close to 10% of the soils in the United States. So while it’s not super common, it’s no stranger to lawn enthusiasts. In response to sandy soil’s challenging conditions, homeowners can adopt specific grass types that will flourish in such conditions. These are the most popular grasses that thrive on sandy soil.
- Creeping Red Fescue
- Bermuda grass
- Bahia Grass
Sandy Soil’s Challenges
Sandy soil is not appropriate for all types of grass. This is due to several factors. These less-than-ideal conditions are why many grasses cannot thrive in sandy soil. These are some of these factors that can make grasses difficult to grow.
Incompatible pH Level
Sandy soil has a pH of between 5-6. Most grasses need a pH level around 7. Kentucky Blue Grass grass needs a pH level of around 7. As you can see, these grasses won’t thrive in sandy soil conditions.
This incompatibility may sometimes be overcome by strict fertilizer and supplement programs. The pH level necessary for growth success is often too low to make it feasible.
Sandy soil is well-known for its drainage properties. As a result, any water added to the sandy soil doesn’t stick around for long. This means that many grasses don’t have enough root system to reach the ground and spread out enough water.
Bermuda grass, a grass with a root system as deep as 8 feet, can reach as low as 3 feet. Ryegrasses can only grow to 3 feet.
Inability to hold nutrition
Sandy soil is made up of large particles that allow water to flow easily. Water flows through the soil and filters out nutrients. This makes sandy soil infertile. Nutrients such as nitrogen and calcium filter down to a low level in the ground and are out of reach of most grasses’ root systems.
Best Grass for Sandy Soil – Try One of These
So, if you take a look at your soil and see that it includes sand, then you’re going to need to pick a grass that thrives in those conditions. Selecting grasses that can’t handle the properties of sandy soil is a recipe for disaster. These grasses can thrive on sandy soil.
Creeping Red Fescue
Creeping Red Fescue Fescue grass is adaptable. This slow-growing and low-maintenance grass has a required pH level of 5.5 – 7.0, which sits just on the edge of the properties of sandy soil. This grass can be found on the coast or in inland meadows.
You can grow bentonite in the north and the south. This grass can withstand the heat and cold from both the south and the north. Bentgrass is attracted to well-aerated soil. This is the perfect match for sandy soil’s cavernous nature.
Zoysia is an excellent grass for sandy areas. You’ll often see this grass growing happily on dunes and coastal areas without a problem. It has a deep root system that can reach the bottom of soil to absorb nutrients and water quickly. Due to its extensive root network, Zoysia has the ability to withstand droughts and require very little watering.
This grass is great for sandy soil. For those who live along the coast of Texas or Florida, Bermuda grass is a great choice. Bermuda grass is quick-growing and can withstand low water and loose soil conditions. In addition, full sun and acidic soil aren’t a problem.
Bahia grass is a low-cost turfgrass that is perfect for homeowners with limited budgets who want to build homes in the south. Bahia grass offers a low-cost option. It needs very little maintenance, other than mowing. Bahia is similar to my other sandy soil suggestions. It has a deep root system that seeks out water below the ground.
St. Augustine Turfgrass is the last but not least on this list. St. Augustine Turfgrass is the grass I consider to be my favorite on this list. It is at least for those living in warmer climates. This grass type isn’t going to survive in the northern areas where there are heavy frost and snow. St. Augustine may be a good option if you live in the south where you want a thick, lush grass.
It can handle the acidity of the sandy soil extremely well, with a pH level of 3.5 – 6.5, and can be grown in some shade but not too much. St. Augustine thrives if you fertilize, water and mow a lot.
Top Grasses for Sandy Soil in Different Parts of the Country
Before you choose a grass for your yard that is suitable to sandy soil, ensure it meets all criteria. Sandy soil isn’t always located in current coastal areas like you might think. Sandy soil has moved through many areas due to wind erosion, erosion, or marine deposits.
Sandy soil can be found across the country from Texas to Florida, Nebraska to Georgia. When you’re looking for grass to grow in your yard or garden, ensure that it is compatible with your area. These are important factors to consider when selecting the right type of sandy soil grass.
Climate Variations in the Grass
The climates in the Grasses can easily be divided into two groups: warm or cool. This effectively divides county into two sections. The warm climate grasses are more tolerant to heat than the cool climate grasses. If you try to grow grass in the wrong category, you’ll end up with a dead lawn.
pH Level in Your Soil
Sandy soil is suitable for crops that can tolerate acidic soil. The soil’s pH level can vary from one region to the next. It is important to know the pH level before you start a lawn. To determine the soil pH, it is best to have a soil test performed. This will tell you the soil’s pH and indicate any deficiencies in nutrients. Once you have the results, you’ll be better able to select a compatible sandy soil grass type for your property.
Your Yard’s Sunlight Level
There are many factors which can impact the amount of sunlight a yard receives. There are many factors that affect how much sunlight a lawn gets throughout the day, including property orientation, trees and the proximity to nearby structures.
Before you choose a grass for sandy soil, consider how much sunlight each area receives throughout the day. Once you have the numbers, you’ll be able to make an educated selection of a grass type that will thrive on your lawn.
Summary of Sandy Soil Factor
To make things a bit easier, I’ve summarised the season, sunlight, and pH level in a table below. This will help to choose the right grass for sandy soil.
|Red Fescue||Cool||4h +||5.5 – 7.0|
|Bentgrass||Cool||Full Sun||5 – 6.5|
|Zoysia||Warm||Full Sun||6 – 6.5|
|Bermuda||Warm||4h +||5.8 – 7.0|
|Bahia||Warm||Full Sun||5.5 – 6.5|
|St. Augustine||Warm||6-7h +||3.5 – 6.5|