Will Bermuda Grass Grow In Sand Or Sandy Soils?

Last Updated on March 7, 2023 by Mattias

Bermuda grass is a highly desirable lawn turf famous for its fast growth and dense formation. It is a type of warm-season grass adaptable to various soil types as long as they have a good drainage system.

If you live in a sandy area such as California, Florida, or near Miami, you must wonder if you can grow Bermuda grass there. This article will discuss your most common question: will bermuda grass grow in sand? Keep reading to find out. 

Will Bermuda Grass Grow In Sand

Bermuda grass can grow in various soil types, and sand is one of them. Bermuda needs less water content and moisture than other types of grass, which is why it’s perfectly suitable for sand-based soil. It will thrive in areas with good drainage, so if you plan to establish a lawn near a beach, it is safe to say that bermuda is the best grass seed for this situation.

This grass species will not simply grow in sandy soils but establish a vigorous turf and develop faster than any other warm-season grass. It is safe to say that this grass will carpet the entire area and reduce moisture loss in aerated sand soils. However, you must ensure that at least 6 hours of direct sunlight are given.

Bermuda grass has a deep root system that can absorb nutrients deep within the soil. It can survive in various conditions and diverse soil types, but the only thing your Bermuda grass can not tolerate is shade as long as you ensure that your site has full sunlight, direct sun exposure, and a good drainage system. Sandy soil won’t be a problem for Bermuda. 

Apart from Bermuda, which will surely thrive in sandy soil, other varieties such as fine fescue, Zoysia, and centipede grass are good options for this soil type. 

Now that you know your sandy lawn will be an acceptable growth medium for your bermuda grass, let’s discuss some other key points. 

How To Grow Bermuda Grass In Sand

houses next to the beach with Bermuda grass

Before you proceed with the task, plant your bermuda seeds in the soil. Some crucial practices need to be followed. The first step would be to ensure that your soil medium is free of weeds and other unwanted species. You can pluck out the visible ones by hand and manual tools, but there is no way to know whether small and disguised ones will pop back up later. 

Just to be on the safe side, you should use a selective herbicide in its pre-emergent state to get rid of the weeds permanently. You are going to spray the weed killer 2 weeks before seeding so that the lawn will be ready before you plant the grass and the herbicide’s toxic side effects will not influence the grass.

After that, mix fertilizer and organic matter with sand and spread the bermuda grass seeds on top. Ensure to rake them properly so they are covered in 1⁄4 of the soil. Once the seeds are planted, water the lawn deeply with a generous amount of water. Young seeds need a lot of water to germinate effectively, so it’s important to keep the soil moist.

Continue with this pace until the bermudagrass is well-established, and after that, only water the grass when the top layer of soil feels dry to the touch.

If you want a healthy and lush green lawn in your sandy yard, apply nitrogen fertilizer at least once a month. Nutrients accelerate the growth process and help the grass in maintaining its vibrancy. However, remember to switch to potassium fertilizer during the winter season.

Furthermore, another important step in your Bermuda lawn maintenance is mowing. Once you have planted the seeds in sandy soil and the grass has reached the mowing height. It is time to get your mower ready. Regular mowing will not only encourage thick growth but will also maintain vigorous growth. 

By performing a soil test, you can determine how much water and fertilizer your grass needs. Normally, bermuda grass soil compositions should be 70 % sand, 15% clay, and 15% silt, but if your test shows different ratios, you should adjust the resources accordingly.

Higher the percentage of sand in the soil, the more you should water and fertilize it.

Factors To Consider When Your Bermuda Grass Has Sandy Soil

There are some measures that need to be taken into consideration when you start a bermuda lawn on sandy soil.

Water Requirements

As you know, your bermuda grass is a hardy species highly resistant to heat. It thrives in summer, and its peak growing season occurs from late spring to early summer. Also, bermuda grass is even known to survive drought conditions.

However, the adequate supply and frequency of water play a critical part in Bermuda’s growth because even this robust grass can not survive without water.

Bermuda only goes dormant in two situations, when early fall arrives, the weather begins turning cold, and when proper water isn’t given. When the grass goes through a lack of water, it will assume dormancy and turn brown. Sandy soil will worsen this situation by increasing stress. Unlike clay or loamy soil, sandy soils have loose particles that are not very good at retaining water. You can say that there is little to no moisture that the grass can survive on until the next watering, and the grass will instantly turn dry.

As mentioned above, water requirements change based on the soil type being used. Your Bermuda grass in sandy soil will require 1⁄8 inch of water at least 2-3 times daily for healthy growth. An alternate schedule would be to water it once every 3 days using 1⁄2 of an inch.

Remember that using sandy soils doesn’t mean your bermuda grass needs a lot of water. It just means that you need to adopt a better frequency.


Fertilizers are extremely important for a healthy and beautiful lawn. They ensure your lawn is nutrient-rich and strong enough to survive harsh conditions. Sandy soil, which is generally known for its excellent drainage system, is helpful with the water, but unfortunately, the same can’t be said for fertilizers. In gardening terms, this problem is referred to as leaching. In simple words, leaching is when liquid fertilizers are at risk of draining out instead of performing their intended purpose because of the soil’s drainage system.

Because any fertilizer you apply will drain out, lack of nutrients will become a common problem in sandy soils. Incorporating water-based fertilizers in the soil will be useless as it will only be a waste of your resources.

You can reduce nutrient leaching by taking some necessary precautions. For instance, don’t apply fertilizers when soil is near saturation or when rain is predicted. However, the only effective solution to this problem is frequent fertilization. If you apply fertilizers regularly, some will be absorbed into the roots.

Remember that in the growing season, your bermuda grass will require 1.5 to 1 lb of nitrogen per 1000 square feet of your new lawn, but that requirement will change as the grass becomes fully established. 

Furthermore, sandy soils are naturally deficient in terms of nutrients. Where other soil types contain abundant minerals, sandy soil only has micronutrients such as potassium and phosphorus. The most effective way to determine the amount and type of fertilizer your soil needs is by conducting a soil test or having a laboratory check it out. These tests will display the lack of nutrients in the soil, and you can take necessary actions to incorporate them.

Benefits Of Sandy Soil For Bermuda Grass

a road with lawns with the ocean in the background

Your bermuda is a sun-loving grass that needs a lot of sunlight. It can’t even tolerate partial shade, and when the cold season arrives, bermuda suffers from environmental stress and goes dormant almost immediately. Warm seasons such as spring and summer, are considered Bermuda’s favorites because they contain all its ideal environmental factors. Moreover, it can survive floods and grow without any severe side effects. Bermuda grass is also drought tolerant, and it doesn’t mind the sharp heat from the sun.

All these factors collectively make bermuda a strong grass variety, but the effects double up when you pair them with sandy soil. To say that sandy soils are the most suitable and perfect combination for bermuda grass is an understatement. They meet each other’s needs and develop a green and perfect lawn.

For instance, your bermuda grass prefers warm climates, hot temperatures, and dry conditions rather than well-shaded areas. Sandy soils are perfect in this situation because they provide just that and aid Bermuda’s growth. 

Bermuda doesn’t like moisture, and overwatering severely harms its roots, but with sandy soil as the primary growth medium, there is no chance you can do that. The sand particles are extremely loose and incapable of retaining any water. They have an excellent drainage system which reduces the chances of bermuda grass standing in water and developing diseases.

Lastly, sandy soils have certain characteristics that complement grasses such as bermuda. They encourage the grass to develop strong and deep roots on the surface, leading it to develop a dense turf.

Tips For Growing Bermuda Grass In Sandy Soil

Bermuda grass will not only do well in sandy soil, but it is the best grass for this soil type, so if you are thinking of establishing a lawn on sandy soil, then take a look below and learn some of the most beneficial tips.

  • Test the soil to learn what your lawn will need regarding water, fertilizers, and nutrients.
  • Use organic materials such as peat moss, compost, tree bark, and manure to ensure better growth.
  • Remember that the average soil ph should range between 6 – 7.5.
  • Make sure to remove any debris from the soil surface.
  • Use proper seeding techniques.
  • Adjust your watering schedule as Bermuda grass goes through different stages. 
  • Use fertilizers to incorporate nutrients into the soil.
  • Don’t let the grass dry out.

What Is The Best Soil For Bermuda Grass

Bermuda is a highly adaptable grass type that can grow in a diverse range of soils. From clay and loam soil to sandy soil, bermuda will thrive as long as its basic requirements are fulfilled. As long as the Bermuda grass has a well-drained soil system, the soil type doesn’t matter. However, this grass will not appreciate highly alkaline or acidic soil ph. The ideal ph level for bermuda grass is 6.5-7 ph, which means that slightly acidic and neutral are the best.

You can easily check the soil quality through soil tests.

Once you have conducted the tests, you should examine them carefully and ensure that your soil’s quality is appropriate for the bermuda grass. In case the levels aren’t right, you can take necessary actions to adjust it according to bermuda grass needs. For instance, you can add sulfur to lower the ph and a lime-based compound to increase it.

Will Bermuda Grass Grow In Sand Summary

It is a common misconception that sandy soils are unsuitable for lawn establishment. People living in beachy areas often wonder if they can start their lawn without the site conditions affecting the grass growth. In this article, we comprehensively cleared that fallacy.

To put it simply, yes. Your bermuda grass is the right grass for sandy soils, in fact, it is the best option. This grass isn’t picky and can grow in almost every type of soil as long as a good drainage system is ensured.

Clay soil and loamy souls are also suitable for this grass, but since we are talking about sandy soils, it is safe to say that your grass will rapidly grow in this medium. 

As we discussed earlier, bermuda has certain characteristics that make it a perfect fit for areas with sandy soil. We also answered other common questions, such as how to grow Bermuda grass in sandy soil, why people put sand on the top surface of grass, and the benefits of using sand as soil. 

Share this article with your friends and family if you found it helpful. 

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