Best Drought-Tolerant Lawn Grass for Sandy Soil

By: Julie Day

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

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  • 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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