Everything You Need to Know About Lawn Sand

In the past, lawn sand was a highly common treatment used by both professional and DIY gardeners. It can still play an important role in your regular lawn care cycle, even today.

In this Lawn Advisors article, we’ll explain what lawn sand is, when and how to apply it, the pros and cons of lawn sand and the way it works to make sure it’s safe for kids and pets.

What is Lawn Sand?

What is Lawn Sand

Lawn sand is a treatment typically used on well-tended domestic lawns and sports fields; it is often made of two to three ingredients:

1. Sand

Sand only has a very small beneficial impact on grass. Its main purpose is to serve as an efficient delivery system for the other chemicals. 

2. Iron Sulfate

To kill moss and stop moss infestation, people commonly use iron sulfate, also known as ferrous sulfate. This is particularly important for your yard’s wet, shaded areas.

3. Ammonium Sulfate

Homeowners like this chemical combination since it is often sold as a standalone fertilizer. The main nutrients it provides are nitrogen and sulfur, which fertilize your grass and improve the soil’s alkalinity, resulting in a healthier, greener lawn.

What is Lawn Sand used for?

Lawn sand has a variety of uses, including:

1. A general feed

After using lawn sand, lawns appear greener because of the iron, which serves as a fertilizer.

2. Moss Control

Iron is one of the best ways that works quickly to kill, control and prevent moss, so you can expect results in days rather than weeks.

3. Changing the Soil pH

Lawn sand will change the pH of the soil, which prevents worms (resulting in fewer worm castings) and changes the color of the grass, making it appear noticeably greener after application.

4. Weed Prevention

Regular applications of lawn sand should help in fostering environments where grass grows well and weeds find it difficult to establish themselves. Additionally, it kills some existing weed types.

5. Alternative to Pesticides

Despite the fact that lawn sand contains iron, which makes nitrogen, it is considerably safer than many alternatives because it doesn’t often contain pesticides or herbicides that are used to kill moss, weeds, and bugs.

6. Drainage

Sand helps in drainage, preventing disease and waterlogging.

How Lawn Sand Works?

This top dressing’s physical structure makes it effective at killing weeds and moss. The grains are very dry and very fine. These two characteristics enable it to rest on surfaces as opposed to sticking to them.

As you know, grass grows up vertically from the soil, whereas moss and broadleaf weeds grow outward. Because the grains of sand have something to land on when they are applied, they will settle on the moss and weeds in your grass.

Since grass grows upright, sand cannot accumulate on the blades. Instead, they fall on the soil between the grass blades. As a result, the soil can be fertilized by the chemicals in the sand, which feeds turf grass roots.

Thus, lawn sand is actually a selective weed killer.

Pros and Cons of Lawn Sand

Pros and Cons of Lawn Sand

Here are some of the pros and cons you should consider before spreading lawn sand into your regular lawn care schedule:


1. It’s cheap, especially if bought in bulk; a 25 kg bag will cover 450 sq m of lawn.

2. An excellent all-around maintenance product.

3. It improves the pH of the soil and keeps worms and other burrowing insects out of the top layer.

4. It prevents moss from spreading and kills mild infestations while controlling moss.

5. It increases the lawn’s greenness and improves drainage by de-thatching the top layer.

6. It is safer compared to many chemical-laden alternatives.


1. It doesn’t work as a dedicated moss killer and won’t get rid of bad infestations.

2. There are better ways to get rid of moss than killing it, which will disfigure the lawn and cause it to turn black.

3. Many weeds will be controlled by it; however, it isn’t effective against bad weed infestations.

4. It will stain clothes, patio, carpets, etc.

5. It’s easy to scorch the grass by overdosing.

When to Apply Lawn Sand?

before learning how to apply lawn sand, it’s important to also know when to apply it to achieve the best results and the key here is not to get over-eager and spread it too early in the year.

The best time to apply lawn is during spring or autumn when moss is actively growing.

Lawn sand with nitrogen and iron will greatly help you in maintaining a beautiful lawn if your grass is in dense clay soil, a damp area with little drainage, or a shady area of your yard. Alternatively, use it ONCE in either the spring or the fall. You will still get a benefit from using it just once a year.

When the circumstances are ideal, you should also do this. The right weather would be a quiet day with no wind and no rain. These are chemical compounds that might be dangerous to you. Not to mention that ferrous sulfate will discolor everything with which it comes in touch.

How to Apply Lawn Sand?

How to Apply Lawn Sand

You can use a spreader or by hand to apply this fertilizing and weeding combination to specific parts of your yard. Regardless of whatever method you choose, each has the same steps.

1. Prepare the Yard

Three days before you intend to apply the sand, mow the lawn. By doing this, you’ll make the moss and weeds you want to remove more visible and make it easier for the top dressing to get to the dirt.

2. Check the Conditions Outside

Step outside to see if the wind is blowing.  Keep in mind that you are applying a small, granular material that will drift in the wind. You don’t want to get this stuff in your eyes.  Don’t apply if you are in a drought. If you attempt to use it in less-than-ideal conditions, you’ll cause more harm than good.

3. Check the Label on the Bag

You should look at the label on the back of the bag to determine the amount to apply per square foot of grass. Under-application may not be effective, while over-application can scorch the soil.

4. Divide it

Divide the appropriate amount of sand into equal parts. In a minute, this will all make sense.

5. Spread it

Put one of the equally sized amounts of sand into the spreader. Whenever spreading by hand, use a container. Just as you would when mowing your yard, go back and forth across the entire area of your lawn. This ensures an even layer of distribution.

6. Spread it Again

Your spreader or container should now contain the second equal amount of sand. Walk horizontally across your entire yard. In the same way you made the vertical passes, back and forth. If you intend to seed your lawn, wait until the sand has been spread evenly in both directions.

7. Water the Lawn

Within 48 hours of application, you need to water thoroughly. Watering will let the ground’s ferrous sulfate fertilizer absorb into the soil. Before the lawn has been irrigated, nothing or no one should be allowed to walk on it.

For more details of how to apply lawn sand, watch this video below.

Lawn Sand FAQ

To Wrap Up

You know now everything about lawn sand, its uses and how it works. Additionally, you can follow the steps aforementioned to apply lawn sand properly.

If you still have any questions about lawn sand, just drop them in Lawn Advisors comments box below and we’ll get back o you as soon as possible.

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