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How to Grow Grass in Just Sand in Florida

     Before you fall into the process of growing grass, consider why you are interested in grass in the first place. There are many beautiful groundcovers that provide much more for you than grass ever will.
     Many people just love that green carpet that only grass provides. Perhaps the area where you live requires grass only on the easement as mine does. Perhaps you already have grass but want to fill in a bare patch.
     Just plain sand is very white. Not pure white like beach sand, but a bright grayish white. If your sand is darker then you're in luck, it means you have some organic matter in your sand which will help it retain moisture.
     The first step is to prep the area. The goal here is to get some organic matter into that soil as best you can. Getting some mulch from the municipal drop site or even buying some mulch to throw down would be great. Toss the mulch in a thin layer over the entire area. Let the weather break down this mulch as you do your research into what type of grass you desire.
     The extension service here in West Florida would recommend Zoysia or Bahia grass for this area. Both need watering to be green during the dry season. If you had only a smaller patch to fill it, it might be cheaper to dig up clumps from a more vigorous area of the yard and use that as a homemade sod plug. Florida has at least half a dozen kinds of grass that are native but unavailable at the store.
     Broadcast your seed evenly throughout the area. Then water, water, water. Seeds don't use fertilizer and it could kill them.
     Watering is by far the most critical factor in the success of grasses in Florida. It might be worthwhile to start your seeds in the beginning of the rainy season, though they can also be started in the spring and summer as well. Seeds will have to be watered every day, then tapering off to every other day to twice a week, then weekly.
     South West Florida Water Management District has recently lifted the ban on watering lawns, but be prepared for them to reinstate the ban at any time. They advocate perennials and groundcovers to save on groundwater pumping, which causes sinkholes. The restrictions do usually allow residents to handwater or use sprinklers once a week.
     Pull weeds as you see them, you will gain nothing by letting them go to seed. Play in the new grass!

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