Seeding Sand.

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by 1BadHawk, Sep 9, 2005.

  1. 1BadHawk

    1BadHawk LawnSite Member
    Messages: 127

    I have a new customer who has a section of yard, 100'x20' which is practicaly sand. Nothing is growing in it and he wants grass.

    Typicaly I would kill everything, lay 2 - 2 1/2 compost/topsoilm, seed, starter fertilize. Water.

    What would you recommend though with a yard primarily of sand? Excavate?
  2. keepcuttin

    keepcuttin LawnSite Member
    Messages: 62

    How much does the customer want to spend? Having some sand is nice to get some moderate drainage, unless it 8"deep. Bring in plenty of loam to topdress the area. The customer has to understand that having a base of sand, the water will drain rather quickly unless you have at least 4-6" of topsoil depth.
  3. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    Bring in twice as much topsoil and aged compost as the amount of sand you will be planting in.Mix it well and wet it and roll it to stableize it before planting in it.
  4. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,776

    I live on a sand bar. Much of Cape Cod is a glacial wash out plane of sand - over sand- over more sand - you get the picture.

    Most of the "loam" that you can buy here is what we affectionately call "stump dump loam". You pay to dump your brush at a private dump where it is buried for 5 years, dug up and screened, and you buy it back as "loam". Bit, that is another story.

    If you put a silty loam on top of sand, the silty loam will in fact turn to mud before it gives up any water to the sand layer below. You can sometimes kick that mud layer and find completely dry sand beneath it. This is not necessarily a bad thing, if you have enough of a layer of loam on top of the sand for a good root zone. Four to six inches is what we like to use. If you don't go that deep, the roots stay too shallow. The stump dump loam is pretty sandy on its own, so it rarely muds up.

    Some guys like to put a layer of what we call "hardener" down before the loam. It is a naturally local occuring sandy clay that is often used as a base for gravel drives in this area. This gives a layer that will hold water below the loam which the grass often chases the water into. This helps get the grass deeply rooted and will take water from the loam before it is saturated keeping it from mudding.

    You can grow grass in sand, but it requires a lot of water and weed competition wins out very quickly when the water is not there.

    Best bet - 4-6" of loam and do not till it in (if it is as sandy as it sounds).
  5. westwind

    westwind LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 444

    This is what we would do! Consider tamping it also. Not to much sand up here in the great northwoods however. Good luck.

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