grass for sandy soil
Lawn Care

Choosing the Best Grass for Sandy Soil

Maintaining a good-looking garden on sandy soil can be a very challenging task even for proficient gardeners. Not all grasses grow well on sandy soil because it contains irregular particles with air pockets that cannot retain water and valuable minerals needed for the grass to grow. This shouldn’t worry you, though, since all you need is to know the best grass for sandy soil.

Sandy Soil Overview

Sandy soil is often referred to as light soil due to its texture. It is low in mineral content and usually dry since it drains water quickly. If you reside in a sandy region, you definitely know how challenging it is for plants to thrive. Sandy soil is mostly found in arid and semi-arid conditions. Coastal areas, too, are a bed for this kind of soil.

Will Grass Grow in Sand?

Yes, it will. The right question is ‘What kind of grass grows in the sand?’. There are several grass seeds for sand available on the market. Keep reading this article to find out more about the best grass for sandy soil.      

Cool-season Grasses Vs. Warm-season Grasses for Sandy Soil

grass types in the US
Areas for different grass types in the US

When it comes to grass for sandy soil, these are the two major categories. Cool-season grasses actively grow in spring and fall but remain dormant in winter and summer, e.g., bentgrass. On the other hand, warm-season grasses vigorously grow during the summer season but become dormant during winter, e.g., Bahia and Bermuda grass. 

Grass Types That Grow in Sand

Several ornamental grasses thrive well in dry and sandy areas. If you are looking for grass for sandy soil, here are the five best grass seed for sandy soil. Also, read more on grass for sandy soil reviews here.  

Tall Fescue 

Tall Fescue is a cool-season grass for sandy soil native to Europe. It is valued for its ability to adapt to various climate changes. It is tolerant of heat, drought, shade, and cold.

Grass typeCool-season grass (perennial)
Soil typeWell-drained soil
Soil pH5.5 – 7.0 (Acidic)
Sunlight requirementFour hours of direct sunlight
SeasonFall – Spring
StrengthDrought, heat, and shade-tolerant

Tall Fescue is suitable for northern lawns and transition zones. It easily establishes from its seed and germinates rapidly. Its root system extends deep, making it a drought and heat resistant grass compared to other cool-season grasses.

Bent Grass

Bentgrass is one of the best grass for sandy soil found on beaches. It is a perennial cool-season grass. It has vigorous shallow roots and forms a dense mat with its long narrow leaves. 

Grass TypeCool-season grass (perennial)
Soil typeWell-drained soil
Soil pH5.0 – 6.5 (Acidic)
Sunlight requirementFull exposure to sunlight

Bentgrass thrives well in cold and humid areas such as the northeastern part of the United States. It is mostly used in golf courses. Bentgrass does not blend well with other grasses. 

Zoysia Grass

Looking at the best grass for sandy soil, Zoysia grass is a turf warm-season grass native to Asia. It spreads by stolon and rhizomes. There are about eleven different species of zoysia. It is well known for its shade, drought, and traffic tolerance.  

Grass typeWarm-season grass (perennial)
Soil typeGood drainage soil
Soil pH6.0 – 6.5 (slightly acidic)
Sunlight requirementFull exposure to sunlight
Strength Shade, drought, cold, and traffic tolerance

Zoysia develops a deep root system that makes it conserve moisture hence resist drought. Unlike Bermuda, it recuperates slowly; however, it creates a solid grass carpet on your lawn.

Bermuda Grass

In grass for sandy soil, Bermuda grass is one of the best grass for South Carolina. It is a perennial warm-season grass that is most active between late spring throughout the hot summer season. It is valued for its high thatch tendency, excellent tolerance to wear from drought and heat, and faster recuperative ability.

Grass typeWarm-season grass (perennial)
Soil typeSandy soil, clay, loam
Soil pH5.8 – 7.0 (acidic)
Sunlight requirementFull direct sunlight
SeasonSpring – Summer
ToleranceHeat, drought, and acidity

Bermuda grass grows well in areas that experience full direct sunlight with good drainage soil; however, they also do well in other soil types such as clay soil. Its roots can go up to six feet in depth, thus providing more resistance against environmeёntal stress.  

Bahia Grass

Bahia is one of the best grass seed for sandy soil in Florida. It has coarse leaves and flourishes well in hot areas with sandy soil. Just like other sand soil grasses, it is valued for its excellent heat and drought tolerance.

Grass typeWarm-season grass (perennial)
Soil typeLight and well-drained soil
Soil pH5.5 – 6.5 (slightly acidic)
Sunlight requirementFull exposure to sunlight
SeasonSpring – Summer

Bahiagrass grows slowly but establishes well. It is suitable for large and less maintained lawns with little irrigation.

How to Grow Grass in Sand? 

If you want to grow grass in sand and create a beautiful lawn out of it, preparation is an essential part of the process. In most cases, it’s not going to be a cheap venture since quality, and satisfactory work comes at a price. First things first, sandy soil does not retain water and minerals necessary for grass germination; this makes things a little more challenging. So, here is how to go about it:

  • Clear the area. Remove all dirt, including broken sticks, pebbles, and debris.
  • Till the upper part of the soil, about 4 inches, and then add compost. This helps in water retention and increases nutrients.
  • Add a good lawn fertilizer (high phosphorus fertilizer recommended).
  • Mix the three (sand, fertilizer, and compost) correctly.
  • Spread the grass seeds on the lawn as directed on the label, then using a rake cover with local soil.
  • Water your lawn adequately to obtain proper germination. 


There are two key factors you need to consider when selecting the best grass for sandy soils. First, keep in mind that, unlike clay soil, sand drains water quickly. Second, your lawn will look beautiful if you go with drought-resistant plants such as Bermuda grass. Check out our best grass for sandy soil 2021 review here. If you have been reading this article, you can agree that the best grass for sandy soil should handle a wide range of environmental conditions.

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