Sandy Soil

Asked October 5, 2018, 11:28 AM EDT

I have sandy soil and would like some guidelines as to what is the best grass to plant and any suggestions for maintenance. I also didn't know if you have any publications on this topic as I couldn't find anything. Any information you can provide would be very helpful. We are buying a house and I want to also plants some shrubbery and flowers so I want to make sure I am aware of what is best for the area under these conditions.

Wicomico County Maryland

1 Response

Turf-type tall fescue is the type of cool-season grass recommended for all counties of Maryland. If you have not done so already, submit a sample of your soil to a lab and have it tested for pH, nutrient levels, and organic matter. The ideal pH for lawns is about 5.8-6.5. You can find information about soil testing here: Your lab report will indicate if lime or other amendments are needed. Proper pH is essential for good lawn growth since it affects nutrient availability.

Two good publications to look at for lawn establishment and care are as follows:

For planting shrubbery and flowers in your area, a great resource to use is the Chesapeake Bay Native Plant database. Choose "coastal plain" and your site conditions and you will receive recommendations for your area.

Since you are planting shrubs/flowers into sandy soil, it is a good idea to mix in compost at planting time. Compost improves the structure and water-holding capacity of the soil and also provides a natural source of nutrients.