Best Drought-Tolerant Lawn Grass for Sandy Soil

“What is the best grass to plant in sandy soil that will withstand drought? I would like to reduce lawn irrigation to conserve my well water.” -Ken

Sandy soil and drought are a tough combination, but one that is all too common in many parts of the country. Sandy soil increases the effects of drought because it drains water rapidly, making it more difficult to find a lawn grass that will survive dry conditions without regular irrigation.

If your area is suited to cool-season grasses, consider fescue. Varieties such as tall fescue, creeping red fescue, and hard fescue have are adapted to many soil types (including sandy soil), and they’re drought-tolerant once established.

If you live in a warm climate, options include Zoysia, Bermuda, or Bahia. These grasses can rapidly take over neglected areas and will tolerate both drought and sandy soil conditions.

Check with your local garden center as well, since new, drought-tolerant grass seed varieties and mixtures are developed every year, and local retailers often carry the seed best suited to your climate and soil type.

In addition, you can increase the drought-tolerance of your lawn by amending or top-dressing your lawn with compost or other organic matter. As the organic matter breaks down, it will improve the quality of your soil as well as its ability to retain water.

To learn about alternatives to lawn grass in dry climates, check out Xeriscape for Drought-Tolerant Landscaping and Landscaping with Drought-Tolerant Plants.


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20 Comments on “Best Drought-Tolerant Lawn Grass for Sandy Soil”

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  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    March 9th, 2019 at 1:57 pm

    Hi, Carol, features home improvement advice from the nationally syndicated TV show “Today’s Homeowner” and its experts.
    We don’t sell construction or gardening products on this website, but we encourage checking your local home center for these materials.
    Good luck!

  • Carol Johnson Says:
    March 8th, 2019 at 2:30 pm

    Looking for sod to put down on sandy soil in the Florida Panhandle.

  • Gary Says:
    October 6th, 2018 at 10:22 am

    Live in Toledo Ohio in need of a good grass seed for sandy soil Thanks

  • Reed Warren Says:
    March 26th, 2018 at 6:58 am

    I live in the Texas Hill Country. I am wanting to know what would be the best grass to grow in soil that is mostly Garnet gravel.. the weeds flourish, but I want to cover my yard with a drought resistance grass and intend to start with seed.. I could also use any information on how to prepare my yard for the best possible (grass) growth.. winter temp’s can fall to the teens (at times) and summer temp’s between 90 and 100 (in late June, July, August and early September). I am 70 years old and will be doing the work myself, this may be a challenge for me but I love to work..

  • Gloria Says:
    August 7th, 2017 at 11:54 am

    I live in Rio Rancho, NM am 64 yrs old and all I have is sandy soil. I have a large nasty bare back yard and would like to plant grass. Temps run: lows Oct thru Mar are between 23-43 degrees Fahrenheit; Apr thru Sept run between 40-63 degrees Fahrenheit. The highs run: Oct-Mar run 49-64 degrees Fahrenheit; Apr thru Sept 73-95 degrees Fahrenheit . Keeping in mind that I’m 64, retired, not much money and will be doing all the labor myself what type of grass can I plant that would need the least ground prep and life maintenance. Thank you for your assistance, hope someone can help.

  • Martin kaplan Says:
    May 4th, 2017 at 11:45 pm

    Looking for a grass seed that will grow in sandy soil on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, we just put in a new septic system and there is a mixture of soil and sand, quite a bit of sand, Thank you

  • Denise Says:
    April 24th, 2017 at 1:47 am

    We are in need of steps to how to prepare sandy loam soil to lay down hydro grass seed. The existing soil surfaces is moss along with many other boad leaf weeds, which we’very applied round up thus it’s far

  • Kenneth just seablom Says:
    April 19th, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    What type of grass seeds will grow in sand I live in the upper of Michigan by lake superior.

  • Betts Says:
    April 3rd, 2017 at 4:28 am

    Lived inn this house for over 40 years in Charleston,SC.
    we have an automatic sprinkling system so we tried water.
    We also have a very large Live oak with old large azaleas which takes up the large part of the yard. The other problem we have is moles. WE have tried Bermuda grass at least 5 times. Recently I bough small azaleas along the outside border along the driveway. Now I am wanting to fill about 2 feet of sandy soil in front of flower bed. I thought of pavers. It also has to take a lot of raking and leaves because the leaves fall sept until April. Any ideas?

  • Gloria Branham Says:
    March 30th, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    I need help living in s w FL nothing but sand and weeds I need grass seed that with stand drought as well sand nothing but sand and how to prepare the sand
    To plant grass seed

  • Elizabeth Giermanski Says:
    May 21st, 2016 at 12:24 am

    Same question how to have green grass in sandy soil. please answer, we are seniors and would green grass. thank you very much ? liz

  • Jonathan M McGee Says:
    May 7th, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    I just bought a house in oklahoma on 3 acres. A very large amount of the land was heavily overgrown with weeds. I’ve managed to cut those down but now my main problem is all the soil is sand. I want to plant grass but it’s like living on a beach. Summers get to 100 so it needs to withstand that as well. I need any and all advise possible for this.

  • Wayne Says:
    April 16th, 2016 at 9:56 pm

    I live in Kansas on + 2 acres where it gets over 100 Deg. in the summer and my soil is very sandy.
    What is the best grass for me that will over take sand burrs also.

  • Jeremy Says:
    March 27th, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    I live in Northwest Indiana and have nothing but sandy soil with lots of full sun. I have never been able to grow any grass. Do you have any suggestions for a grass that will grow in sandy soil and full sun. I do not have a good way to water the seed/grass. Finally, if you are able to recommend a good grass that will grow given my sandy soil, do you recommend spreading it in the spring or fall? I’m tired of mowing nothing but weeds and bare land. Thank you for you guidance.


  • kirsten Says:
    March 14th, 2016 at 9:25 am

    I have the identical problem to “paul Says:
    May 6th, 2015 at 7:32 pm” (pine needles on sandy soil and grass which used to be okay has disappeared — sunny location in southern Quebec). Any solution?

  • Brigitte Says:
    January 8th, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    We live in northern BC Canada on one acre of land that is mostly sand . Willow trees grow rapidly . Could you recommend a lawn seed that will grow in sand please. PS Fireweed also invades every other space.

  • paul Says:
    May 6th, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    I currently have very sandy soil which is constantly covered with pine needles.there was grass at one point but has slowly disappeared in the last four years. I am not sure how all these pine needles affect the soil, and want to get the grass back in this area. The sun is on the area about five hours before it becomes shaded. This area is located in North eastern Massachusetts. Any advice???? Thank you.

  • Kim Cadena Says:
    July 25th, 2014 at 11:16 am

    Thank you, I’m purchasing a 2.5 acre ranch, I want to put grass on .5 of an acre. I’m in Palm Springs, CA so I will try this out.

  • p.k.soiy Says:
    July 14th, 2014 at 8:57 am

    which are the best grass suitable for a sand rock area especially creeping grass if any seeds inclusive

  • Phyllsi Says:
    April 26th, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Thank you for the help I just moved to clearwater Fl. and i’m very much in need a a lawn. The soil is all sand and has not been taken care of.I need to know the best type of seed to get a lawn started .
    thank you ,

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Best Drought-Tolerant Lawn Grass for Sandy Soil