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What Type of Sand for Lawns is the Best

What Type of Sand for Lawns is the Best

What type of sand for lawns is best? This is a really tricky question and one that needs explaining. Taking care of a lawn isn’t an easy task as it requires much more than just mowing the grass. The top dressing of the lawn is just as important. But what type of dressing should you use? Generally, sand is a pretty good solution for dressing lawns. Today, we are going to take you through the best type of sand for lawns.


What Sand is Best for Lawn?

Play sand or Masonry sand is typically the best sand for lawns. There are a couple of reasons for these being the best. These sands are finer and screened of pebbles. If you have a big lawn then you also order a bulk of mason sand. On the other hand, if your lawn is smaller then you can easily use play sand that you can get from a hardware store.

There are different types of sands as well:


Sharp Sand

Silver Sand

River Sand

Mason Sand

Play Sand



Ideal for Top Dressing

Great as a Top Dresser

Good for Lawn Leveling

Best for Leveling

Sand for Lawn Leveling

What Type of Sand for Lawns is the Best

You must be wondering about what type of sand for lawns must be used in terms of leveling. From the table above, we have picked the two best options for you, Mason sand and Play sand. Both of these are considered to be the best for dressing lawn as these are more fine screened sand.

Practically speaking, you can use any sand for leveling the lawn. But the thing that makes Mason and Play sands the best is their fineness. Mason sand quickly gets into the top sandy soil of the grass. Play sand acts as a good choice for leveling and is also really viable for top dressing as well. Avoid using beach sand as it is more coarse and contains a lot of debris.

Sharp Sand for Lawns

When you consider what type of sand for lawns should you use, there is another type of sand that you should look into. I am talking about Sharp sand. If you are looking for something to suit your garden then Sharp sand is a great choice. This sand is coarse and provides improved drainage in seeds.

Silver Sand for Lawns

If you are looking for more of a horticulture grade, then you can also go with Silver sand. there are anti-iron oxide quartz particles present in it that improve the growth of the soil. It also is a solid choice as a top dressing as it improves aeration. You can also mix it with peat as well for root cutting.

What Sand is Best for Top Dressing a Lawn?

What Sand is Best for Top Dressing a Lawn

It was primarily due to golf courses that the practice of top dressing started in the first place. There are various types of turf grass that have a lot of thatch. So, in order to maintain the look of their lawn, people started to adopt the process of top dressing. When you look at golf courses, they always look really good and well maintained. So, why shouldn’t your lawn look at great as those golf courses?

Reasons for Top Dressing

There are a lot of reasons why you need top dressing. If you’re a golf course manager or there are flaws in the lawn, dressing is necessary. Most of the time the top dressing helps in hiding the flaws of the lawn.

1. Evening out the Lawn

The most obvious reason for top dressing is to even out the lawn. If you have a very uneven lawn, it will not only look pathetic but also won’t allow the growth of turf grass.

2. Fixing Holes

An uneven lawn usually has a lot of holes in them. You can use the sand as a top dressing and spread the sand evenly to cover those holes. You can use a thin layer or a thick layer of sand depending upon the hole and fill it up. Then you just need to use water for settling the sand. You can use sand to cover exposed tree roots as well.

3. Thatch Prevention

It is quite possible that Thatch can start to grow on your lawn if you are not taking care of it. The worse part is that it can then attach to your pets or onto your clothes as well. Using sand prevents the thatch to grow.

Top Dressing Materials

People are generally divided on using sand as a top dresser for a lawn. However, choosing a dressing isn’t that simple as experts recommend that you first analyze your soil and then choose a material that is suitable for that particular soil. Using an unsuitable material as a top dresser can result in improper grass growth and barren patches on your lawn.

  • Sand

It is probably the most common top dressing used. It is a great choice when you have sandy soil.

  • Topsoil

If you have any doubts then it is probably best to use the same soil to cover the holes. In this way, you won’t damage your lawn.

  • Compost

Compost is recommended by many as it enriches the soil. But you need to make sure that the compost doesn’t contain any weed seeds and is a finished product.

Problems with Top Dressing with Sand

There are a lot of things that can go wrong when dressing with sand. That is why it is important that you are aware of some of the commonly made mistakes. One of the most basic things is to not evenly apply the sand. It is also good to only use sand as a thin layer top dresser for the first time.

If your lawn has clay soil then avoid using sand as a top dressing. This is because, in top dressing, you will not be mixing the sand with clay soil. Using contaminated sand is another major problem. You should always make sure to use clean sand with no contaminants.

Tips for Top Dressing Your Lawn

In order to ensure that your looks its best, you need to follow these tips:

  • Apply the dressing sand to the areas that need fixing
  • Choose the right time for applying the top dressing. If you have warm-season grass then apply in spring.
  • In order to keep the grass fresh, use overseeding in conjunction with top dressing
  • Make sure always to apply dressing in thin layers

When to Add Sand to Your Lawn?

There are a couple of times when you need to add sand to your lawn. If you use a riding lawn mower and also mow in the same direction. This can make the lawn uneven due to the ruts developed by the tires. The lawn can also get divots from outdoor parties as well.

This is when you should start adding sand to your lawn. With fine sand, you can easily level your lawn. Adding sand in thin layers will help you cover any holes or divots.

Why is Sand Great for Lawns?

There are a couple of reasons why sand is great for lawns:

  • Improves Firmness Of the Soil
  • Drainage is Improved
  • Speedy Recovery
  • Thatch Prevention
  • Provides a Smoother Look

Busting Out the Myths – FAQs

Can I use sharp sand to level my lawn?

Yes, you can use sharp sand for leveling your lawn but play and mason sands still get the top priority.

Can you put topsoil over the sand to grow grass?

Yes, you can put topsoil over the sand to grow grass. Just make sure to use a thin layer of topsoil.

When Do I Fertilize My Lawn, Before or After Top Dressing?

You can fertilize before and after top dressing. It is good either way.

What type of sand is not safe for st. Augustine lawns?

Anything other than sandy loam soil and clean sand are not safe for St. Augustine lawns.

Should I mix sand with topsoil for grass?

Yes, you can mix sand with topsoil in equal parts. Some people also use compost as well to enrich the soil.

Is River sand good for your lawn?

River sand can act as a good top dressing for your lawn.

Can I use all-purpose sand for the lawn?

All-purpose sand doesn’t sit very well with topsoil and the grass as It has large grits.


What type of sand for lawns is the best totally depends upon your lawn. Sand is a great dressing for lawns and also brings a lot of benefits as well. You have to do the hard work in order to maintain your lawn. Once it’s done, you won’t have to do anything more.

Jessica Zander

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