We just moved to Naples, FL in Oct 2017 and would like to establish a very nice yard here in the sandy soil. We do not have a sprinkler system. I would like to plant seeds that will produce a dark, thick lawn with deep roots that will hold the soft soil together. What variety of grass seed do you recommend and when should we plant? We were told we could put seed down in March but I am concerned that the Summer heat will kill the grass that does grow.
Jack from FL
Thanks for the question Jack! I’ll answer your question right away, but only if you promise to read all of my other advice and instructions!
You want to plant Hancock’s Pensacola Bahia Grass Seed Mix. This blend consists of 75 percent Hancock Pensacola Bahia, and 25 percent Hancock’s Brown Top Millet. Its ideal planting times are during either Spring or Summer.
First, the grass. Pensacola Bahia is a great option for our readers who live in the Southern regions of the United States. This variety of lawn grass (also great for pasture) grows well in Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, northern Texas, and southwest California. Why? Bahiagrass grows well in sandy soils where other grasses just can’t make the cut.
Many people wonder why we include 25 percent Brown Millet along with the Bahia. “I want pure grass seed!” they yell. But trust us on this one: Millet can make or break a lawn on sandy soil. Browntop will germinate in three days, preventing erosion and setting cover for the coming Bahia. Perhaps more importantly, this additive grass maintains soil moisture better than most...and that means a lot on dry soil!
It’s important to understand that nothing is given, especially when you’re working with dry, sandy soil. But if you put in the work, you can make it work!
Sandy soil is difficult to work with because it has absolutely no nutritional value for plants. That means you need to provide all the essentials. I recommend putting out 250 lbs. of 16-04-08 slow release fertilizer per acre, at the same time as when you plant your seed. Make sure that you adjust this fertilizer total, depending on the actual size of your lawn!
Unfortunately, your lack of irrigation brings a wildcard into all of this. Unless you plan on hooking up a sprinkler to the hose, you’ll be relying on Mother Nature to deliver the water your seed needs to thrive. The good news, for you, is that you’re located in Naples, FL; you probably have less fear of a drought than those in Texas, for example. However, understand that inconsistent precipitation can severely stress a seed, and even prevent germination. Therefore it’s a good idea to scout the weather for the next few weeks before you plant!
Good luck Jack! Let us know how everything goes. We’re always happy to help!