“What is the best grass to plant in sandy soil that will withstand drought? I would like to reduce lawn irrigation to conserve my well water.” -Ken
Sandy soil and drought are a tough combination, but one that is all too common in many parts of the country. Sandy soil increases the effects of drought because it drains water rapidly, making it more difficult to find a lawn grass that will survive dry conditions without regular irrigation.
If your area is suited to cool-season grasses, consider fescue. Varieties such as tall fescue, creeping red fescue, and hard fescue have are adapted to many soil types (including sandy soil), and they’re drought-tolerant once established.
If you live in a warm climate, options include Zoysia, Bermuda, or Bahia. These grasses can rapidly take over neglected areas and will tolerate both drought and sandy soil conditions.
Check with your local garden center as well, since new, drought-tolerant grass seed varieties and mixtures are developed every year, and local retailers often carry the seed best suited to your climate and soil type.
In addition, you can increase the drought-tolerance of your lawn by amending or top-dressing your lawn with compost or other organic matter. As the organic matter breaks down, it will improve the quality of your soil as well as its ability to retain water.
To learn about alternatives to lawn grass in dry climates, check out Xeriscape for Drought-Tolerant Landscaping and Landscaping with Drought-Tolerant Plants.