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Growing grass in sandy soil

I live in savannah ga. The soil is basically sand with very patchy thin areas of grass. Im trying to figure out the best way to start a lawn.  My ideas are:

1. put new topsoil down over the while area. Do no mix it in and just start new lawn in the new top soil. 


2. remove sandy soil down to thicker soil and till some top soil in


3. Till areas and mix top soil in


anyones ideas would be a great help.



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Posted 2012-04-22T19:43:54+0000  by benjamin_13 benjamin_13

Hi benjamin_13,


Welcome to the community and thank you for your question.   Sandy soil is great if all you want to do is grow fruit trees.  It is not that good for grass however unless you plan on watering every day or Mother Nature helps you out with a rain shower several times a week.  Your best course of action will be number three on your list.  If you just put down topsoil and not mix it in, you would have to raise your lawn about 4-6 inches.  The root system of most grasses like to go down about 4 inches.  This deeper root system also helps to conserve water.  We use a lot of fescue out here on the west coast.  Check with your local Home Depot Garden Center for some good recommendations for your area.


Removing the sandy soil is not necessary if you mix in a good soil conditioner.  You will still get a rise in your soil level, but this can be adjusted by contouring your lawn, unless you want a flat lawn then you may need to remove some soil to account for the added soil you will be putting in.


Choice number 3, tilling the soil and adding sol amendments will be your best bet.  You may encounter some weed seeds in this process when you till the soil, but they can be taking care of by using a Weed N Feed or a regular weed killer for your grass.  Just be careful when using a liquid weed killer.  Be sure that is it safe for your particular grass.  The same goes with the Weed N Feed.  Some broad leaf grasses such as St. Augustine are negatively affected by some Weed N Feeds and liquid weed killers.  


     Roto Tiller Rear Tine.jpgScotts Garden Spoil.jpgScotts Organic Choice.jpgSuperSoil Enriched Planting Compost 2 cu.ft.jpg          SuperSoil Garden Amender soil.jpg

          Scotts Drop Spreader.jpgScotts Turf Builder Plus 2 Weed Control.jpg    

                           Vigoro Turf Fertilizer.jpgScotts Organic Lawn Food.jpg

      Bayer Crabgrass Control Concentrate.jpgGarden Pump Sprayer.jpg

      3l4 inch Garden Hose.jpgBayer Season Long Weed Control.jpg



When you till your soil down to a depth of about 6-8 inches and add a good soil amendment, you will have grass with a deeper root system and a stronger lawn because of it.  Using sod will give you an instant lawn but it is a little more expensive than using seed.  You may have to seed your newly seeded lawn more often than the sodded lawn, but it is a longer term process either way.  Over seeding later on in the year will help to thicken up your newly seeded lawn.  A regular fertilization will give your lawn the energy to produce a nice green carpet of grass for you.


Vigoro Tall Fescue.jpgRebel Tall Fescue.jpgScotts Tall Fescue.jpg


Be sure to take pictures as your project progresses and share them with the rest of the gardening enthusiasts here at The Home Depot Community.


This has been another of,

Best Answer

Posted 2012-04-24T16:47:23+0000  by Rick_HD_OC

What would be the best mix of top soil to a squre ft area?

Posted 2012-04-27T00:21:52+0000  by benjamin_13

Hi again bewnjamin_13,  


The ideal amount to add would be 3-4 inches of a good quality soil amendment to the top of the ground and then mix the soil in to a depth of 6-8 inches.  This will allow the roots of the grass to go deeper into the soil, following the rich nutrients and make the grass more drought tolerant.


To calculate how much soil you will need, use this formula:



Length X width = square feet


Sq Ft X Height = cubic feet of soil needed


Exp: 3 inches = 0.25

         4 inches = 0.20


This formula will give you the amount of soil you will need to cover your area.


Thank you again for your reply and have fun with your project!


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Posted 2012-04-27T16:39:22+0000  by Rick_HD_OC

Just a possible correction on your math.


if  3" depth = .25 or 1/4 of 12" 




  4" depth should =.33333 or 1/3 of 12" 


Right Rick?



or am I missing something?

Posted 2012-06-05T01:26:31+0000  by HerodeCBR

Thanks for checking,  I stand corrected.  Thanks for the assist!


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Posted 2012-06-05T18:05:33+0000  by Rick_HD_OC
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