When maintaining greens in a golf course, staff would add a thin layer of sand over it. This is known as topdressing, which is a common practice for grass maintenance. Many homeowners also do it in their own lawns, but what does sand do for grass anyway?
Using sand for your garden might not be as beneficial as you think. So read on as I show you the different benefits sand can do for your grass.
Like mentioned, the act of placing sand on your grass is known as topdressing, which is mostly used in high-activity areas like gold courses or fields. The purpose of applying a layer of sand over grass it to level out the uneven surface, as well as cover tree roots.
Besides this, they are also used to address common lawn issues like low spots, compacted soil, bare spots, or depletion of nutrients from neglect, chemical exposure, or leaching.
However, adding sand isn’t recommended. Studies show that placing sand on your lawn can cause compaction and drainage issues, and it actually doesn’t add any nutritional value to the soil underneath! While it’s used for commercial areas, it’s not the best practice for domestic lawns. Why?
This is because sand can’t retain nutrients, so applying it yearly can cause the grass to list its fertility. Golf courses can do this as they use specialized grades and sandy soil that thrive in the sandy conditions. Additionally, golf courses have daily maintenance, maintaining its vitality. With the average lawn, it won’t be able to do so, as we have different grass seeds, soil conditions, and sod.
But what you CAN use sand for is when leveling it on low areas, to cover exposed roots, or to fix heavy thatch build-ups. Though even then, it’s still better to use compost rather than sand. As much as possible, I highly suggest that you look into different alternatives for your lawn issues rather than sand.
If you’re still planning to put sand on your lawn for various reasons, then you have to be wary. One mistake many people make about placing sand is applying TOO much of it and/or unevenly. As a result, there are globs of sand all around the lawn while the grass feels choked because of the excess sand on top of it.
When you’re topdressing your lawn, may it be with sand or compost, you need to make sure that you spread a very thin layer evenly all throughout the lawn. If you do see globs or mounds, you need to correct it immediately.
Furthermore, avoid topdressing your lawn with sand when correcting clay soil. It won’t loosen the soil but actually hardens it to have it feel cement-like!
I highly recommend that when you topdress with sand, mow your lawn beforehand. Then, use a mix of 50% sand with 50% of fresh topsoil. Only cover the lawn to about 1/8 inch of the mixture, tamping it down lightly using your hand.
While you can do this yearly or as needed, I discourage you to do so, unless you’ll be using high-quality compost soil. This can help maintain the health of your lawn.
I hope that this article answered your question, “what does sand do for grass?” Now that you know the answer, start learning more about what to do and what to avoid when it comes to grass maintenance now.
If you have any questions or want to share your tips and experiences on using sand on grass, then comment below. Your thoughts are much appreciated.