Healthy soil for lawns

A healthy lawn is built on healthy soil

The best, greenest lawn in the street has a secret underneath…their soil.

In order to establish, grow and maintain a healthy lawn, it’s imperative to have the proper soil underneath. Just as the foundation of a house is important to make sure it won’t fall down, a healthy soil foundation of your lawn and gardens is important to ensure it can flourish. The poorer the foundation, the poorer the performance of your lawns and gardens will be.

The soil type you have can greatly affect the number one thing your lawn needs to grow – water!

Soil Types

Sandy soils are common in coastal areas, here water will flow through the sandy profile easily, leading it to dry out quickly. Which means you will have to water your lawn more often. There is a lot of space and air between sand particles, so the soil won’t hold a lot of water and will move quickly through your profile. This soil type has a ‘low water holding capacity.’

Heavier soils (loam, clay loam or clay) are generally found in suburbs away from the coast. These soils have less space and air between the soil particles. The higher the clay content, the smaller space and air between the soil particles become. This means that more water will stay within the soil, reducing the downward movement of water. These soil types have a ‘high water holding capacity’ which can lead to them being easily overwatered.

Heavier clay soils are very tight, sticky, and bind together making compaction a common problem. Compaction can result from high foot traffic from kids running around kicking a ball, dogs using the same spots to run on turf areas, for example. This compaction reduces water’s ability to move deeper into the soil profile.

Healthy Soil Foundation is key

Why? Because this is where the roots of your grass grow. The amount of water the roots can access from the soil, will ultimately determine how strong the roots can become.  When you have healthy soil, your grass has a higher chance of being healthier too.  If your soil dries out too quickly your roots can suffer and die, if you over water, your roots can be drowned.  If you can’t get water into the soil due to compaction, your roots will starve of hydration. These issues below ground are what causes an unhealthy and weak lawn aboveground. Just as what happens below your house can be seen above ground, in things like cracking and moving walls.

So, what is your soil type?  How was your soil prepared? Was new soil added and blended with existing soil and how much depth of new soil do you have? Does your grass need better drainage? The answers to these questions will determine root health and the long-term health of your grass.

If you’re just starting out on your lawn preparation, ensure to bring in 100-150mm of quality soil, to give your lawn the best base for growth. Prepare correctly and you can avoid issues and complications down the line.

If you have any further questions, contact our lawn consultants and we will be more than happy to help!

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