There is no better time to enhance a lawn’s ultimate beauty and success than by improving the soil before any planting takes place.
For optimum growth, turfgrass needs just four things (in the proper balance) sunlight, air, water, and nutrients. Reduce any of these, or provide too much of any one and the grass may die or simply suffer. In the right proportions, the gross will flourish, providing beauty to the landscape and a clean and safe place to play plus many benefits to the environment.
Grass obtains three of the four essentials factors (air, water, and nutrients) form the soil, but many soils are less that ideal fro growing grass. Some soils contain too much clay and may be very compacted… great for roads, bad for grass, because air and water aren’t available to the roots and they can’t grow. Other soils may have too much sand…beautiful on a beach, but difficult to grown grass because water and nutrients won’t stay in the root zone long enough for the plant to use. Another frequently observed problem with many soils is that its pH (the degree of acidity or alkalinity) is too high or too low for optimum growth
Loams, sandy loams and loamy sands, with as pH of 6.0 to 7.0 are the very best soils for producing a beautiful, high-use, low-maintenance lawn. Unfortunately, this ideal soil mixture is seldom found on any property after construction.
The absolute minimum quality soil depth for a care-free lawn is 4 inches; however for deeper root penetration and the benefits that that brings, the accepted standard is 6 inches.
Practically, without exception, not only can most soils be improved, they usually need to be improved to get the maximum results with only a minimum of on-going effort.
The knowledge of what’s necessary, the amount and availability of materials and the immediate costs of time and money are the factors that typically deter people from taking the steps necessary to improve the soil.
The fact is that failing to improve the soil before planting is only inviting a much greater and continual investment of time and money that will never return its value as fully as good preparation.
The beauty is in the blades, but the action is in the roots, is a good adage to remember when growing grass. Thus, the value of proper site preparation and soil improvement, before any planting takes place, is that it will be easier for the grass roots to penetrate deeply and evenly. Deep roots will make the lawn more drought resistant, a more efficient water and nutrients user and more dense as new grass plant shoots emerge. A dense lawn crowds out weeds and better resists insects and disease.
The site is now ready for turfgrass sod. With this degree of careful and thoughtful soil and site preparation, the resultant lawn will be absolutely beautiful. It will require less maintenance …smaller quantities or water, fertilizer and pesticides…as it maintains a high degree of density and recovers rapidly from wear.