But an ugly lawn can be especially frustrating for homeowners who have a neighbor with a streetscape that looks like it belongs on the cover of a home and garden magazine or for people who must abide by strict homeowner association HOA rules. It's not unusual for HOA covenants, for example, to require that a percentage of the property be not just grass but grass grown and cut in a certain way. But what if you can't get grass to grow, no matter how hard you try? While your first instinct might be to wonder what you're doing wrong, don't be too quick to blame yourself. There's a good chance it's not your fault.
A heavy duty roto-tiller can dig up to a foot deep, and will turn over all the topsoil and loosen it. Sowing the clover seeds. For small-seeded areas, a small spot sprinkler will suffice. It's the same thing with a closed-in backyard, especially if you've got a little humidity mixed in. Customer Growing grass on poor hard soil Newsroom Contacts. It's important for homeowners to remember that the horticultural mantra of Right Plant, Black lesbian sex orgy Place applies to grass as much as to any other plant, said Waltz. You can do this by gently treading it down. This depends on how badly compacted your lawn is. The real problem, he contends, is that you have the wrong plant in the wrong place. Once you get your pH right, the grass roots will be able to use the nutrients in the soil.
Free porn foot fetishes. Creating a Lush Lawn
Heat resistant fescues such as Titan rX are used here, as heat is the biggest killer of grass in the lower transition zone. Soil Growing grass on poor hard soil is too acidic needs hydrated lime to boost the pH level. You can also strap on a pair of aerator sandals and walk around your yard. You may want to look beyond the surface, peel back the layers and get your hands dirty to expose the truths about your lawn. Your lawn may be on the brink of death year after year if it is covered in weeds and is lumpy, bumpy, patchy and pale. But in most parts of the country, it's actually not Cheerleading scholarships maryland university difficult to grow a healthy carpet of grass. Fertilize the soil. If you have a severe thatch problem, correct the problem incrementally to avoid damaging the lawn. Plant Zoysiagrass, fine fescues or grasses native to your area. Home Guides SF Gate. Pull weeds because they will disrupt the growth of new grass. Other cultural practices, like aerating, can be used to improve soil structure and add organic matter. For homeowners with poor soil, such as rocky dirt or clay, grass may not even grow. Although the type of soil you have in your yard is Growing grass on poor hard soil important aspect to growing a green, healthy lawn, there are additional conditions to consider before buying grass seed. How does this happen though?
My soil is very poor and my lawn is all worn and patchy.
- For some people, having a thick, green lawn is something that just happens.
- Although the type of soil you have in your yard is an important aspect to growing a green, healthy lawn, there are additional conditions to consider before buying grass seed.
- When growing grass, it is important to have fertile, loose soil.
- Here are five conditions which may be causing your lawn to fail.
- Growing a lush lawn requires continual work, as well as vigilance to catch problems when they start.
Clay soil is made up of tiny mineral particles with very little organic material to separate all those microscopic rocks. And it's usually very alkaline. How can you grow grass in it when the roots have to struggle to find nutrients that are locked up by alkalinity?
I have battled clay soil and turned it into my friend. You can do the same. Let me show you how to grow grass in clay soil and grow a beautiful lawn. It is possible, but there is some hard work and expense involved.
In a nutshell, you have to correct your soil's pH, add organic material and overseed. You can succeed with clay soil whether you're planting a new lawn or rehabilitating a long-existing one. Each lawn has variables, like bare spots or very high alkalinity, that need to be addressed.
I'll explain how to go about each task outlined below in a way that best suits your own particular situation. Skip this step if you don't have thatch. If you do, you need to get rid of as much of it as possible. If you're tearing your lawn up and creating a new one, this is easy. The thatch that doesn't get removed along with the living grass will serve as extra organic material. To dethatch a lawn you're going to keep, go over your working area twice with a good thatch rake or powered dethatcher.
Rake up the thatch, and add it to your compost pile or the organic matter you'll use to amend your clay. Now would be a good time to dethatch your entire lawn, not just the parts you are working. You need to know how high your soil's alkalinity is before you can adjust it.
Vivosun makes an accurate, low-priced meter that tests pH , moisture and sunlight levels. You just stick it in the ground in several spots throughout your lawn and average the pH readings. Higher numbers are alkaline. If your soil is alkaline, and it almost certainly is, you'll need to spread some granulated sulfur. Use a dropper or broadcast spreader to apply 10 pounds of sulfur per 1, square feet.
This will bring your soil down one-half of a point. If you need to drop your alkalinity by an entire point, like from 7. Any more than a one-point drop should be done in two applications spaced three months apart.
After you spread your sulfur, wait eight weeks and check your pH again. If this means you'll have to wait until tbe following year to actually plant seed, so be it.
With this project, it's best to get each step done right before moving on to the next. Once you get your pH right, the grass roots will be able to use the nutrients in the soil. Now we need to make the soil looser so roots can grow into it. Some people use sand or gypsum to break clay soil up. I highly recommend using organic matter instead.
For one thing, it supplies nutrients that your beautiful new lawn is going to need. Another thing is that it's much easier to get the right ratio of organics to clay. It's almost impossible to overdo it. The ratio of inorganic material to clay, however, has to be pretty precise.
If you add too much, you get inconsistent, loose soil. Add too little, and you literally end up with brick. Compost, topsoil and manure all make fantastic amendments for clay soil. Don't use fill dirt. That's what you have now. Don't use wood chips either. They don't break up the soil enough, and a compound in decomposing wood locks nitrogen in the soil. You need enough material to add a level one-quarter to one inch on top of your clay. More is better. Just spread it on top.
Your good grass will grow up through it, and your weak grass will die and become compost. You'll plant seed later to make your lawn thick and green. If you are rehabilitating an entire lawn, or a big chunk of one, you would be better off working the amendment in with a tiller. You can use a plug aerator for smaller areas. Spread your organic material evenly over the area you're working, then till or aerate. If you have time, break this task up into two. Spread half of your organics, work it in and repeat the process.
This will get your two soil types mixed up better. First, determine what type or grass your lawn is made of. Ask your agricultural extension office for help, if you need it. You don't want to mix two types of grass, but you want to make sure your lawn is tolerant of clay soil. You're improving your soil, but it's still clay. Here is a list of grasses that grow well in clay:.
If your lawn currently consists of one of these, get the same kind of seed. If not, you may want to consider removing your existing grass and starting over with one of the above. That is a lot of work. You can still plant the same type of seed as your current lawn, but it may take a few seasons to get established well.
If you have to make this choice, remember that it's better to have a lawn of uniform variety. Broadcast your seed at the rate recommended on the bag. This will vary depending on the type of grass, whether you are planting a new lawn or overseeding. Scatter some straw over the entire area you are planting.
You can skip this step if you are overseeding, just be sure to work the seed down to soil level with a leaf rake. Either way, newly planted seed needs a good watering right away. Soak that good layer of mixed clay and organic matter well. Water at least once daily, preferably around dawn, for the first week. If you've seeded in the beginning or middle of fall, which is the recommended time for most grasses, you'll see some slow growth throughout the cooler autumn and winter months.
The fast, thick growth you're looking forward to will begin by the middle of the following spring. If you seeded in spring or summer, you should see quick growth within two or three weeks. Don't mow until your new grass is a good three inches tall. When you do mow, let your clippings fall where they may.
Clippings don't cause thatch, but they do supply a continuing and free source of organic material for your new lawn. You just spent a lot of time adding biomaterial to your soil, so don't start depriving it now. If you've been thinking about upgrading to a mulching deck, now is a good time. Make sure your lawn gets at least an inch of water every week. If it doesn't rain enough, you'll have to water. This will ensure that the top six inches of soil gets some moisture.
Be sure to keep your mower blades sharp. As your lawn fills in, there will be many tender young grass shoots trying to fill in any bare spots. You want to slice them cleanly with the blade.
It would be a good idea to topdress once during the first year. Do this between late spring and late summer. The grass has to be actively growing. What happens is the grass will grow roots into the new organic material that works its way to the top of the soil. That's why topdressing is such a great way to continue adding organics to your lawn. It swallows it up. Keep an eye on your pH. Yearly testing is fine.
If anything, your soil may return to a more alkaline state, but it won't get as bad as it was when you started. Another dose of granulated sulfur will being the pH back to where it needs to be. Aerate in the second year and every two to three years after that.
Keep in mind that the best time to topdress with organic matter is right after aeration.
It just grows like a sod farm. A stressed lawn is susceptible to weeds, diseases, and other pest invasions. Subsurface drainage in the form of perforated piping may need to be installed to draw the water away from the area. Plant Zoysiagrass, fine fescues or grasses native to your area. Are there any specific seed mixes that work better in clay, or other techniques that can help us with our yard?
Growing grass on poor hard soil. Maintaining a Lush Lawn
What to do if your grass won't grow | MNN - Mother Nature Network
Compacted soil is the slow-moving freight train accident of lawn problems. Oh, wait. Runoff can end up in your basement, and the grass can be, well, less green than the grass on the other side of the street. 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. Soil compaction can happen for a number of reasons, but it generally happens in ground that has been disturbed for some reason and refilled.
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. Compacted soil affects lawns in a variety of ways. To begin with, compact soil is often too tight for roots to penetrate. Your grass depends on its roots for water and mineral nutrients.
When roots can no longer penetrate, your grass will stop growing, and new blades of grass will stop replacing older, dead blades. Over time, your lawn will start to look thin and unhealthy.
Worse yet, compact soil can even be too tightly packed for water to get through. This can lead to your lawn turning yellow and grass dying off. Finally, compact soil can affect more than your lawn. If water can no longer penetrate the soil, it will flow across the surface to the most convenient spot.
If that spot is a basement window or a crack in a foundation wall, you can quickly end up with a flooded basement. This can lead to major damage, and expensive homeowners insurance claims. This depends on how badly compacted your lawn is. For a lawn where only the top layer of soil has gotten compacted, the simplest option may be to aerate your lawn. Aeration loosens up the top level of soil without a lot of invasive digging that will disturb your grass.
You can have this done by a professional, or rent a lawn aerator yourself at a rental shop. A heavy duty roto-tiller can dig up to a foot deep, and will turn over all the topsoil and loosen it. On the plus side, this is enough to fix all but the worst compacted soil. On the downside, this method completely turns over the soil. In the worst cases, you may need to excavate the affected area and fill it in with gravel first.
Needless to say, this kind of problem is beyond the scope of most homeowners, and you should probably hire a professional. Check out our article on must have Lawn Care Tools. As with many home improvement issues, an ounce of soil compaction prevention is worth a pound of expensive roto-tilling cure. Aerating your lawn regularly should be part of your lawn maintenance plan and will keep the top layer of soil loose, so your grass will get plenty of water.
If you do need to have a major landscaping project done, like having a pool filled in or building a retaining wall, make sure your landscaper is licensed and insured.
Any competent landscaper will do their best to prevent soil compaction, but even the best professionals make mistakes. I currently have very compacted soil beneath my bermuda lawn. The thick sod was put on top of very hard clay type dirt in ipstate SC.
What is the best way to loosen the compaction without ripping up my grass? Should i spread gypsum? Use Soil Doctor? You can hire an aerator from home depot…that is what I would recommend. We have another post that may help you on an easy lawn care plan. Thanks Aaron. People underestimate how important the right type of soil is. Don't subscribe All Replies to my comments Notify me of followup comments via e-mail.
You can also subscribe without commenting. Click For Article Contents:. Share this post! I hate it when the soil becomes compacted. I try to loosen it periodically. Want an answer to your question quickly? Join our private Facebook Mastermind Group here.