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Growing Grass in sandy conditions

Is this even possible?? I'm tired of throwing $ on my lawn and get nothing in return. We have about 3-4" of top soil (sandy) and the soil below is nothing but sand. So, needless to say, our lawn doesn't really hold moisture. The first year we moved in we had out lawn hydro-seeded and it looked amazing. The following year it looked horrible.
We have ad out soil tested and, much to my surprise, it was potassium deficient so we addressed that but we just can't seem to get seed to germinate. We've even resorted to clover figuring that any green was better than none.

Is there anything we can do without having to spend tens of thousands in order to have a decent lawn?

Re: Growing Grass in sandy conditions

Ditch the lawn and go with an alternative.

You want ideas: plants, walkways, boulders and ground cover.

Re: Growing Grass in sandy conditions

Good seed should at least germinate. The best time to seed is in the fall when the heat lets up a little and rain is usually more prevalent. Has anybody been using a crabgrass preventer on the area. It will also prevent grass seed from germinating.
I've seen grass grown in some pretty sandy soil on the eastern shore of Maryland. It doesn't always look as lush as you might like, but it grows.
Check with local ag service or full service nurseries to see what type of grass grows best in your area.

Re: Growing Grass in sandy conditions

I'm guessing your hydroseeder used a lot of annual rye for fast coverage, which dies in the winter.

I've sandy soil too, it's the pits. Hydroseed, sod, etc. are short term, as the silt and fertilizer wash through into the sand.

The only 100% successful beautiful lawn I've seen in my high sand region was where the owner said he pushed all the soil back, put down a layer of clay soil, and then put his topsoil back. This was to slow the water and silt washing through. He said only rain feeding it water and it's looked fabulous for years.

A neighbor of mine took off old topsoil and replaced every two years. The silt washing through into the sand eventually achieved the same, slowing the passage of nutrients, silt and water. Much too expensive an answer for me, 1 acre to recover from builder topsoil raid.

I've planted river birch, which grow in spite of the sand, is one tough tree in winter snow/ice, and gives enough afternoon/evening shade for the grass to take hold. Also, I hope you're using a mulching mower, to rebuild the sandy soil, set to 2.5 or 3 inches, as shorter promotes weeds and dryout.

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