Before You Can Improve Your Soil You Need To Relieve The Compaction
Start by scarifying your lawn in other words rake out all of the dead leaves, moss and debris. If you have a large lawn its worth either hiring a machine or asking a lawncare professional for help.
Next you can aerate the soil. Use a hand held tool or a specialist machine to take small plugs of soil out of the lawn. It sounds brutal but it makes much less mess than youd expect. Aeration allows water and air to reach the roots of your grass plants and theyll thank you for the breathing space.
What Is Compacted Soil
Compacted soil is soil that gets packed down so tightly that grass roots can no longer penetrate it. This causes a number of complications, not least of which can be your lawn dying off. Well get into that some more in a minute.
Soil compaction can happen for a number of reasons, but it generally happens in ground that has been disturbed for some reason and refilled. For this reason, its more common in newer neighborhoods than on older properties, since the ground around older houses has had more time to settle.
When landscapers finish a project, like building a retaining wall or filling in an in ground pool, they do their best to tamp down the lower layers of rock to avoid the upper layers settling. Unfortunately, even the best landscapers can make a mistake, and air pockets are often left underground.
Over months and even years, the ground slowly settles, leading to an uneven surface thats hard for roots to penetrate.
How To Improve Drainage In Your Lawn
A lawn with poor drainage can lead to multiple problems like weed growth, fungal infestation, diseases, and poor grass growth. If your lawn level is not right, water can pool up on several spots that require proper drainage to fix the problem. The drainage problems become severe after heavy rain or leakage of water from your irrigation system. It is best to get your drainage correct before designing a new lawn.
However, if you already have one, you can follow these tips to improve your lawns drainage.
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The Benefits Of Topdressing
Since topdressing is conditioned to amend soils that lack nutrients, have poor structure, and are low in organic material, it can do a world of good for your lawn.
Some of the main benefits include
- Adds organic matter and reintroduces microorganisms back to the soil
- Excellent for heat and drought stress conditions, since it acts as a mulch to help retain soil moisture
- Combined with seeding jobs, it helps ensure seed-to-soil contact and retains important moisture for quicker germination and establishment
- Combined with core aeration, allows nutrients to penetrate deeper into the soil
- Helps prevent turf disease
- Produces new soil through accelerated thatch decomposition
What Are The Types Of Soil
There are twelve orders of soils, but in regards to lawns, there are really two main types that balance out in slightly different proportions based on your lawn care needs. These two groups are heavy and light soils. Heavy soil contains more clay and is sticky and hard to work, but is generally more fertile. Because its heavier and denser, such soils tend to remain cold and wet in spring and need grit or coarse organic material to bring in air and help grassroots remain healthy. Alternatively, sandy or silty soils are considered light soils because they are permeable, water-draining types of soils.
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What Is A Natural Lawn Fertilizer
Grass has a reputation of being a heavy feeder, requiring lots of fertilizer. But thats true only of lawns that contain little organic matter, worms, or other soil life. Organic or natural fertilizers release nutrients slowly over time to provide long-term nutrition and improve soil health. They can also provide vital trace nutrients that your lawn needs. For example, leaving grass clippings on your lawn adds free, natural nutrients and organic matter to the soil. But do take care that if the clippings are too thick and wet they should be raked up and composted for later application to the soil.
Using Lime On Your Lawn
To improve the soil pH level, apply lime at a ratio of 4 pounds per 1,000 square feet. This should be done in the early spring or summer. Use a broadcast spreader to cover all areas of your lawn when the grass is actively growing. Alternatively, buy lime in a pelleted form, as this may be easier to spread.
Its a good idea to test the pH range of your soil before applying lime. You only need to use lime to improve soil quality if the pH is too acidic. Lime comes in different forms, the most common being dolomite or calcite lime. These products can be purchased at your local nursery and are relatively cheap.
Before applying any type of liming material, always read through the manufacturers label first, as they each have unique properties and recommendations for use.
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Mulch Your Grass Clippings
Grass clippings are an essential part of lawn care.
As a rule, you can recycle the grass clippings of an inch or less in length by returning them to your lawn. They will filter down and decompose quickly.
However, you need to remove longer grass clippings since they can smother or shade the grass below or use a mulching mower to make sure small clippings are created, long grass clippings may damage the lawn.
Do not throw bagged grass clippings out, as it is an excellent source of nutrients, and you can use them as a garden mulch.
Organic Lawn Care Vs Bionutrition
You might ask yourself why not go the organic route? Is organic fertilizer the same thing as bionutritional materials?
A completelyorganic lawn serviceis one that does not use any control products at all, and thats not always in the ideal interest of a healthy lawn either. Sometimes the use of a select number of products can help reduce weeds and ultimately lead to a healthier lawn that will require less treatment in the long run. A lush, thick lawn will help naturally choke out weeds. But in the short-term, weed control products may be necessary to achieve that healthy state.
While organic fertilizers offer a good source for nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, they do not contain bionutritional materials that are teeming with microscopic life. A lawn care program that also continuously adds these microorganisms back into your soil will help your lawn reach its natural balance dramatically sooner than just straight organic fertilization.
At the end of the day, the best lawn care service is one that combines all the necessary tools, such as organic fertilizers, control products only when needed, with bionutrition for truly optimal soil health.
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How Can I Check The Quality Of My Soil
Because you cant visually tell whether your soil is in good shape or not, its best to get a pH test kit. Large hardware stores and garden centres sell these for a few dollars. Turf grows well in well-drained soils with a pH level of about 6.0 and 7.0 but usually flourishes at about 6.5. Anything out of this range might go some way to explaining why your lawn isnt as lush as it could be.
Free Bermuda Lawn Guide
Improve your soil health, lawn health, plant health, and REDUCE THE USE OF FERTILIZERS. HUMICHAR is a mix of Humic Acid and BioChar which is then pelletized into DG granules for easy and clean distribution. Humichar should be used on ALL lawn and turf types as well in ALL garden soils. And yes it is OMRI listed as ORGANIC
HUMICHAR can be used in ANY soil but is specifically designed for TOP APPLYING on lawns. Normal biochars can NOT enter the soil quickly due to their size and remain on TOP for months and even years. HUMICHAR is ground EXTREMELY fine allowing quicker movement to the ROOT ZONE which is where biochar does most of its work.
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How To Spread Topsoil Over An Existing Lawn
Rich topsoil is as beneficial for new grass as it is for old. Few people realize they can significantly boost the health of their lawn by carefully adding new topsoil. If you simply pile the soil on, you can kill the grass. However, if you follow these instructions to add topsoil to your existing lawn it will be rich and lush-looking and your home will be the envy of the neighbourhood.
Introducing Organic Matter To Improve Soil Quality
When I was little, my Grandad used to grow nearly all of the fruit and veg for Nannys kitchen. His garden was amazingly productive and fed with well-rotted manure and with compost.
Im lucky to be married to a farmer. I have enough room for a manure heap in my garden and I can put it far enough away from the neighbours fence to avoid conflict. I dont know anyone else that lucky. Stinky manure heaps would probably be accepted on allotment sites, but not in urban gardens. Pooh!
Next best thing is to compost your grass clippings, garden waste and veg peelings. It does take a long time though and you dont get much compost out of it either.
I use bark mulch around my raspberry canes and fruit trees. It keeps the weeds under control, keeps moisture in the soil and breaks down slowly over time, adding nutrients to the soil as it does so.
I also use it around perennial plants in the flower borders.
Nutrient-rich soil gives a great start to a new garden. Most of my garden has good soil. But when I started using raised beds, I didnt want to dig a big hole in the garden to get the soil to fill them. So I bought some good quality topsoil and Ive barely looked back.
The same soil gets put in the bottom of seed drills when Im sowing carrots and the like in the polytunnel. I just feel it gets the seedlings off to a good start.
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What Fertilizer Is Best For Clay Soil
Organic materials like clippings, leaves, uncomposted kitchen scraps, and adding earthworms can help improve clay soil. Placing down fertilizing materials at an optimum time help encourage nitrogen in the ground to enrich grass. Amending clay soil with sand may be tempting, but it doesnt introduce the micro bacterial activity to promote a healthier pH level and increase beneficial nutrients.
Choose a liquid fertilizer to penetrate compact soil or layer your lawn with a reliable conditioner to return more nutrients and minerals to the land. Remember, you will want to aerate your soil or till it to break up the compact earth and introduce the fertilizer.
How To Repair Bad Lawn Soil
January 15, 2021 by Writers
Grass needs a few basic things to live: Sunlight, water, and soil. However, in order to thriveand to give you the lush, green lawn youre striving foryour grass needs those things in specific quantities and qualities. While its relatively easy to determine how much sun or water your lawn is getting, determining the quality of your soil takes a bit more effort. Thats why soil testing is so important! Take a look below the surface to find out if your yard is in need of soil restoration, soil remediation, or top-dressingAnd learn how to improve soil quality with these tips from the Atlanta lawncare experts at Simply Green.
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How Do You Enrich Poor Soil
If youve made it this far and have concluded that your soil is not healthy, fear not! To enrich poor soil, you can use whats known as a soil amendment or soil conditioner. This is a product that is added to soil to improve its fertility and even its fluids and particles. Not only can most soils be improved, they usually need to be improved to get the maximum results like a nice, lush lawn. Soil amendments can be used to improve poor soils or to rebuild soils that have been damaged by improper soil management. They can make poor soils more usable and can be used to maintain soils that are already in peak condition.
Along with natural fertilizers like grass clippings and other organic compost, you can add manure to your soil for nitrogen. All livestock manures can be valuable additions to soil as their nutrients are readily available to soil organisms and plants. In fact, manures make a greater contribution to soil aggregation than composts, which have already mostly decomposed.
One other type of soil amendment would be one that improves water retention, like shredded bark or peat moss.
How To Improve Clay Soil For Lawns
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If you want to have a healthy lawn worth boasting about for its lushness, vibrant green color, and strong roots, you will need to understand your soil. The soil hiding underneath your yard typically consists of clay, silt, and sand. However, some homeowners may soon discover that the level of clay soil is higher than expected and requires some attention.
Learning about methods of improving clay soil is beneficial, and it will help you become more in tune with the needs of your soil, grass, and property. We have dug into this topic in detail and are happy to be able to share with you precisely what you need to know!
You can improve clay soil by altering the surface of the topsoil, adding specific types of organic matter, and aerating the yard can make growing in clay soil easier for your grass. Clay soil can be tricky to deal with, especially if your grass has yet to establish strong roots. It is crucial to improve your clay soil so your lawn can thrive. Clay soil is typically alkaline, and too much may significantly reduce oxygen to plants roots and cause drainage problems.
Dont feel frustrated about having a lawn with heavy clay soil. Keep reading to learn more about clay soil, solutions to grow the grass of your dreams, and become a more confident gardener.
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How Do You Break Down Clay Soil Quickly
Breaking down hard soil will improve its structure, making planting and digging easier.
So, how can you do it?
Breaking down clay soil will take a lot of digging, but it will make the soil more workable and suitable for growing grass and other plants,
1) Cover the lawn with about eight inches of organic matter. It can be anything that has not been treated with toxic compounds or chemicals, including lawn cuttings, rotted manure, or compost from your heap.
2) You can carry out this step over several days, as it is the most difficult part of the treatment process. Dig the prepared organic matter into the top layer of your clay soil, but be careful not to compact it.
3) You can use either a rotavator or a sturdy spade for digging. When you have finished improving your soil, the garden bed may become a few inches higher, but it will settle down over time.
3) Add some extra inches of organic matter each year. The worms that live in the soil will take it down into the clay, improving the soil.
Improve Your Soil With Topdressing
Here at Nutri-Lawn, we pride ourselves on our ability to make our content both informative and relatable. That’s why today, I’ll be comparing your lawn to the inner workings of the human body. What’s more relatable than that?
Just like the human body, your lawn needs a certain amount of nutrients to function properly and look good while doing it. Unless restored, the essential nutrients found in your lawn soil will deplete over time, leaving the lawn depleted and malnourished. A lawn lacking nutrients won’t grow like it should, and will be more susceptible to weeds, insects, and disease. It also won’t look great either!
Thankfully, you can re-nourish your lawn in a number of different ways, and topdressing is one of the more effective ones. Topdressing is a great way to rejuvenate tired grass and improve poor soil conditions, getting you on your way to much healthier turf in the spring.
Here’s how to improve your soil with topdressing.
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Summary Of Products To Raise Soil Ph
All the products I have listed above will raise the pH of your soil you must choose the one which suits your soils needs best.
For example if you have high magnesium content in your soil it is best to choose a calcium carbonate product rather than a magnesium carbonate product.
Also depending on your initial pH result, you may only need a small adjustment in which case add a little product at a time until you have achieved the correct pH. Good luck.
Ive been enjoying growing plants and vegetables for many years. I created GrowerExperts as a go-to resource for gardening enthusiasts around the world. If youd like to know more, see my about pageThanks!
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Gypsum Enhances Your Soil And Delivers Extra Benefits To Your Garden
Improving soil structure and relieving compaction aren’t the only ways that gypsum benefits your lawn and garden. Gypsum adds calcium and sulfuressential plant nutrientsto your soil. While lime adds calcium and makes soil less acidic, gypsum adds calcium without affecting your soil pH.
Adding gypsum to vegetable gardens helps prevent calcium deficiency, a primary cause of blossom end rot disease. This common disease can undermine your harvest of garden favorites such as tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and melons. Adding gypsum at planting time keeps calcium plentiful, so fruit can ripen without end rot. The calcium in gypsum helps your strawberry patch reach its juicy potential, too.
By taking steps to improve and maintain your heavy clay soil, you can enjoy all the benefits clay offers and reap the rewards of healthy soil and plants. Pennington is here to help you overcome lawn and garden challenges and grow the best lawn and garden possible, in heavy clay and every other soil type.
Always read product labels thoroughly and follow instructions.
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