Grass plants for dry sandy soil
Sandy soils dry out easily and are low in key nutrients. They allow rainwater to filter through the soil quickly with limited water and nutrient retention. On the plus side, they are easy to work, warm up quickly in the spring and provide the perfect arid landscape for plants that thrive in dry, infertile soils. There are plenty of grasses that are well suited to these conditions that offer versatility and will bring colour and interest to your garden. Whispy grasses such as Stipa and Deschampsia are perfect for providing movement and a feeling of calm in sensory gardens as they gently rustle in the wind. Other varieties such as yucca, cordyline (aka cabbage palm) and pampas grass are ideal for adding architectural flair whilst smaller varieties such as Hakonechloa work well as edging or in gravel or rock gardens. Grasses combine well with herbaceous perennials in mixed planting schemes too, often producing impressive flower spikes in late summer or autumn, just as perennials are starting to run out of steam. It is possible to support any grass plants on dry sandy soils with an extensive watering and feeding regime but much easier and more environmentally friendly to grow plants that are naturally suited to the dry conditions. See our article on understanding your soil for some simple tests you can do to better understand your garden soil, including tests for acidity and soil composition.