Skip to Content

What Does Sand Do For Grass?

Sharing is caring!

Some people put a layer of sand on their lawns in the spring. The purpose for this practice and whether or not it’s good to do so is up for debate. But one thing that most agree upon- adding more soil will provide nutrients your plants need.

Adding sand to the lawn is called top dressing. Sand is used for leveling out soil and covering up roots so that you can have a nice-looking green space all year round. If you have been looking for the answer “what does sand do for grass,” then this article will help.

What Does Sand Do For Grass
via Pixabay

Top Dressing And its Benefits

Topdressing your lawn or golf course with sand, soil, or compost is often used to level out low spots in turf areas. It involves:

  • Layering thin layers over green spaces until they reach about one inch high
  • Controlling the accumulation of thatch
  • Leveling out the surface
  • Covering up tree roots that can be unsightly and a safety hazard
  • Covering up bare spots in the lawn
  • Preventing soil compaction
  • Filling in bare spots or holes while making sure no more dirt gets onto valuable flower beds around the house.

Topdressing lawns is a simple and effective way to provide the nutrients needed by grass. Applying top dressing, which contains compost materials like straw or sawdust from construction sites, can help sustain healthy plants for years.

It is because the sand slowly breaks down into organic forms of fertilizers that are then digested in soil microbes – giving your yard everything it needs! You must note here that many lawn care professionals add moss-based products before adding more sand or other soil mixers like peat.

What Does Sand Do For Grass?

Top Dressing Lawn With Sand: Is It Good or Bad?

Many people are highly skeptical about the practice of top-dressing lawns with sand. It is because it can lead to more harm than good in some cases.

But there may be circumstances where this would benefit your yard and landscape needs as well. Let’s look at the pros and cons of the process to evaluate.


  1. Fill Dirt Patches

Sand helps to make sure all the dirt patches are fully covered.

  1. Ensure Proper Watering

Sand allows grass to get wet consistently throughout dry periods, thus ensures proper watering.

  1. Give Nutrients

The compost breaks down slowly and giving essential nutrients that aids in sustaining healthy growth.

  1. Fills In Bare Spots

It also fills in bare holes/ spots from other factors like animal tracks which can leave an unsightly scar on top-dressed areas (this does not apply if there’s been heavy rain).


  1. May Introduce Diseases/Weeds to the soil

Sand from unknown sources may contain insects, worms, and weeds, etc., that are likely to destroy your field.

  1. Does Not Retain Any Nutrients

Sand does not retain any nutrient and put the land at the risk of losing its fertility.

  1. Soil Compaction

Sand causes soil compaction while compost reduces soil compaction. Therefore, people prefer compost for their lawn’s top dressing.

Topdressing With Sand Is Common In Commercial Areas

Sand is used as a top dresser for commercial places, commonly golf clubs. However, people usually do not choose it as their home or yard’s top dresser. It is because sand doesn’t hold nutrients, and applying it yearly can cause the grass to lose its fertility.

On the other hand, golf courses use special sandy soil that withstands this condition. In addition, they maintain a daily maintenance routine for their course’s vitality, which we don’t have access to or options with our average lawns.

You can use sand to cover low-level areas, exposed roots or fixing thatch build-ups. However, using compost can still be the better option. Scotts Green Max Lawn Food – Lawn Fertilizer Plus Iron Supplement serves this purpose.

Scotts Green Max Lawn Food Lawn Fertilizer Plus Iron Supplement for Greener Grass

How to Use Sand Rightly To Do Good For Grass

Topdressing is a simple and effective way to provide your lawn with steady doses of nutrients, especially when applied correctly.

Topdressing with sand is a common practice, but people ignore the necessary measures and damage their lawn. Here are the things to undertake before using sand on your grassy plot.

  1. Use Sterilized Sand

It is best to find sand that has been sterilized, and which is of the same kind of soil texture as on the existing ground.

  1. Apply A Thin Layer

Using too much sand/compost or any top-dressing material is not good because it can smother the grass and kill it. Excess sand can also lead to dry pockets in the soil, plus drainage problems.

  1. Spread Evenly

Make sure you spread the sand evenly, so it doesn’t kill your grass. It will prevent globs of dirt from getting stuck in front of desirable plants or under shrubs where they can do no good for anyone.

  1. Don’t Use 100% Sand

If you want to top-dress your lawn, it is important not to do so with 100% sand. Most yards have clay in them, and putting pure particles will compact the dirt, making an even harder surface for roots and grass development.

It may lead to more problems such as reduced drainage of water, causing increased stress on plants. It is best to mix the sand with another topsoil like Scotts Turf Builder Southern Triple Action. A mixture of 50% topsoil or compost and 50% sand is highly preferred.

Scotts Turf Builder Southern Triple Action What Does Sand Do For Grass


Sand is a great way to top-dress your lawn, and we’re sure you’ll want to try it out. It levels out the ground, covers roots, and controls thatch build-up. But before doing so, be aware of the following points:

  • Don’t apply it too often, or it will decrease your ground’s fertility
  • Mix sand with another topsoil, and it should be 50% to 50% to get the best desired results

Topdressing lawns with sand is a simple and easy way to provide steady doses of nutrients for your grass. It is a great way to add nutrients and improve soil structure if applied correctly. Comment below if you have any queries related to your lawn health and gardening.