Lawn Sand – Can You Have Too Much of a Good Thing?

Lawn sand is a brilliant short term solution for any gardener with a moss problem, and is an ideal first defence against the surface moss that us ruining your lawn. However, unless it is used appropriately, you’re going to end up killing off your lawn at the same time as you get rid of your moss.

Once you understand how this product works, it’s easy to see how ongoing use or over-application can be very detrimental to the health of your lawn – less is definitely more in this situation.

Photo by AdamKR/ CC BY

What Is Lawn Sand?

There is a carefully balanced mix of clean sand that is used as a carrier for the active chemicals – iron sulphate for killing off any unwanted plants and, if you choose a high quality lawn sand, ammonium sulphate for enriching the grass once the powder reaches the soil. The fine grainy structure means that it clings to broad leaves and mosses more easily than it clings to slim blades of grass, meaning it only scorches through the undesirable greenery and leaves your grass intact.

Ongoing Use

One application of lawn sand may kill off all the visible moss, but is unlikely to clean up your lawn for good. In conjunction with the quick treatment, you’re going to need to find and treat the root cause of the moss problem or else it’s going to come back.

With this in mind, it’s very important that you don’t regard lawn sand as an ongoing solution and reapply it frequently to keep moss at bay. Doing so will damage your lawn over time, making it patchy and potentially difficult for the grass to recover. Because it works by scorching the surface of the leaves, there is bound to be a certain amount of damage done to the grasses, but with infrequent application (and the added ammonium) the grass can easily recover.


A similar problem can happen with a singular, over enthusiastic application. Too much sand is more likely to stick to blades of grass or collect around the roots, causing surface damage and killing off the grass as well as the weeds and moss. Lawn sand can come in different strengths, so it’s very important to read the instructions carefully and stick to the coverage that is recommended.

Although lawn sand does contain nutrients, if your lawn needs a boost but does not appear to have a moss problem, then other lawn care products might be more suitable, such as a fertiliser that is suitable for the season. If you need any guidance on which treatment is best for your lawn, then get in touch any time on 0117 311 1217.

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