Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1   Report Post  
Old 22-07-2003, 04:22 AM
Joseph Meehan
 
Posts: n/a
Default How to Improve Lawn Soil? Go Organic?

If you take the time, I suggest organic fertilizer and never bagging the
clippings. It will take a few years, but after about seven years, I can see
the difference.

In your case I might also suggest scattering a little top soil several
times a years to help it out.

--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math


"Jay Chan" wrote in message
om...
My front lawn only has one thin layer of good top soil (around 1").
Below that is sandy soil. My front lawn always has much more bare
spots than the lawn in my side-yard (3" top soil) and in my backyard
(6" top soil). I believe the fact that my front lawn has thin layer of
top layer is one of the primary causes of having bare spots in my
front lawn (the other cause is I don't water enough for this sandy
soil). My theory of my problem is: The sandy soil doesn't hold water
well, and the water in the thin layer of top soil gets dried up too
fast -- the grass suffer.

What can I do about this without completely replacing the soil? Of
course, I can keep watering the lawn very frequently to keep the sandy
soil moist; but this is expensive to do that. Therefore, I am thinking
of improving the soil.

I am under the impression that I can improve the soil by putting a lot
of organic materials onto the soil, and let earthworms to incorporate
the organic materials into the soil. I have a couple questions on
doing this:

- What is the best way to improve the soil? Is using compost the
best way? Or should I use organic fertilizer such as the one made from
sewage (from Milwaukee or some other city)? Any other choices that I
should check? Is there something that is cheaper and better?

- Can I mix using organic fertilizer and chemical fertilizer? Do I
have to go totally organic? Will the chemical fertilizer hurts
earthworms in anyway?

- Should I expect to see thicker top soil in three years if I use
organic fertilizer twice a year and spread a lot of compost on my lawn
every fall?

- Is there any existing "action plan" that I can refer to?

Thanks in advance for any info on this issue.

Jay Chan




  #2   Report Post  
Old 22-07-2003, 04:52 AM
David J Bockman
 
Posts: n/a
Default How to Improve Lawn Soil? Go Organic?

Here is an excellent schedule:

http://www.espoma.com/pdf/garden/GI_4.pdf

You can substitute your own organic brands for Espoma's, although I like and
use Espoma's organic fertilizers. I would also recommend laying down rich
topsoil in the fall, core aerating, then overseeding. If your area
experiences substantial freeze/thaw cycles over the winter, it's also useful
to sneak in an additional overseeding right before a major snowstorm.

Dave

"Jay Chan" wrote in message
om...
My front lawn only has one thin layer of good top soil (around 1").
Below that is sandy soil. My front lawn always has much more bare
spots than the lawn in my side-yard (3" top soil) and in my backyard
(6" top soil). I believe the fact that my front lawn has thin layer of
top layer is one of the primary causes of having bare spots in my
front lawn (the other cause is I don't water enough for this sandy
soil). My theory of my problem is: The sandy soil doesn't hold water
well, and the water in the thin layer of top soil gets dried up too
fast -- the grass suffer.

What can I do about this without completely replacing the soil? Of
course, I can keep watering the lawn very frequently to keep the sandy
soil moist; but this is expensive to do that. Therefore, I am thinking
of improving the soil.

I am under the impression that I can improve the soil by putting a lot
of organic materials onto the soil, and let earthworms to incorporate
the organic materials into the soil. I have a couple questions on
doing this:

- What is the best way to improve the soil? Is using compost the
best way? Or should I use organic fertilizer such as the one made from
sewage (from Milwaukee or some other city)? Any other choices that I
should check? Is there something that is cheaper and better?

- Can I mix using organic fertilizer and chemical fertilizer? Do I
have to go totally organic? Will the chemical fertilizer hurts
earthworms in anyway?

- Should I expect to see thicker top soil in three years if I use
organic fertilizer twice a year and spread a lot of compost on my lawn
every fall?

- Is there any existing "action plan" that I can refer to?

Thanks in advance for any info on this issue.

Jay Chan



  #3   Report Post  
Old 22-07-2003, 05:02 AM
Jay Chan
 
Posts: n/a
Default How to Improve Lawn Soil? Go Organic?

If you take the time, I suggest organic fertilizer and never bagging the
clippings.


Yes, I tend not to bag grass clippings unless they are too fast.

It will take a few years, but after about seven years, I can see
the difference.


Seven years sounds to be quite long. Luckily I have a lot of patience.

In your case I might also suggest scattering a little top soil several
times a years to help it out.


Good. This is something I can do now (instead of waiting for this
fall). This should keep me busy for a while.

Thanks for the info.

Jay Chan
  #4   Report Post  
Old 22-07-2003, 07:22 AM
Leslie
 
Posts: n/a
Default How to Improve Lawn Soil? Go Organic?


"Jay Chan" wrote in message
om...
- What is the best way to improve the soil? Is using compost the
best way? Or should I use organic fertilizer such as the one made from
sewage (from Milwaukee or some other city)? Any other choices that I
should check? Is there something that is cheaper and better?



I've had similar problems with my lawn. We have mostly sand and rocks with
very little topsoil. For a few years I've been reseeding and using
fertilizer. This year I spread about an inch of peat moss in the worst
section and within a month I had *much* better grass there. Now I plan on
doing the whole lawn with the peat moss in the fall. I was amazed at the
results.

Leslie


  #5   Report Post  
Old 22-07-2003, 05:42 PM
Jay Chan
 
Posts: n/a
Default How to Improve Lawn Soil? Go Organic?

http://www.espoma.com/pdf/garden/GI_4.pdf

You can substitute your own organic brands for Espoma's, although I like and
use Espoma's organic fertilizers.


Good. I would take a look at their mix. Thanks.

I would also recommend laying down rich
topsoil in the fall, core aerating, then overseeding.


Yes, this is definitely something that I will do in this fall. The
only exception is that I will use finished compost instead of top
soil. I will be spreading out top soil onto the lawn before this fall
anyway. Therefore, I am kind of not wanting to add the same thing onto
my lawn again in fall.

If your area experiences substantial freeze/thaw cycles over the winter,
it's also useful to sneak in an additional overseeding right before a
major snowstorm.


Why is overseeding right before a snowstorm useful? Wouldn't that kill
the young seeds that have just germinated?

Jay Chan


  #6   Report Post  
Old 22-07-2003, 05:42 PM
Phisherman
 
Posts: n/a
Default How to Improve Lawn Soil? Go Organic?

On Mon, 21 Jul 2003 21:26:54 -0700, "Leslie"
wrote:


"Jay Chan" wrote in message
. com...
- What is the best way to improve the soil? Is using compost the
best way? Or should I use organic fertilizer such as the one made from
sewage (from Milwaukee or some other city)? Any other choices that I
should check? Is there something that is cheaper and better?



I've had similar problems with my lawn. We have mostly sand and rocks with
very little topsoil. For a few years I've been reseeding and using
fertilizer. This year I spread about an inch of peat moss in the worst
section and within a month I had *much* better grass there. Now I plan on
doing the whole lawn with the peat moss in the fall. I was amazed at the
results.

Leslie


Peat moss is okay, but compost or topsoil is much better. Order a
truckload of mushroom compost and spread it evenly over your lawn.
Peat moss (unlike compost) has very little nutrients and will tend to
acidify the soil.
  #7   Report Post  
Old 22-07-2003, 05:42 PM
Jay Chan
 
Posts: n/a
Default How to Improve Lawn Soil? Go Organic?

I've had similar problems with my lawn. We have mostly sand and rocks with
very little topsoil. For a few years I've been reseeding and using
fertilizer. This year I spread about an inch of peat moss in the worst
section and within a month I had *much* better grass there. Now I plan on
doing the whole lawn with the peat moss in the fall. I was amazed at the
results.


Great! I have three LARGE bags of peat moss sitting in my garage that
I need to use somehow somewhere anyway. Just to be in the safe side, I
will mix it with finished compost before applying it to the bare spots
in my lawn.

One question:
Do you put the grass seeds _before_ spreading out peat moss?

Thanks.

Jay Chan
  #8   Report Post  
Old 22-07-2003, 08:22 PM
Leslie
 
Posts: n/a
Default How to Improve Lawn Soil? Go Organic?


"Jay Chan" wrote in message
om...
I've had similar problems with my lawn. We have mostly sand and rocks

with
very little topsoil. For a few years I've been reseeding and using
fertilizer. This year I spread about an inch of peat moss in the worst
section and within a month I had *much* better grass there. Now I plan

on
doing the whole lawn with the peat moss in the fall. I was amazed at the
results.


Great! I have three LARGE bags of peat moss sitting in my garage that
I need to use somehow somewhere anyway. Just to be in the safe side, I
will mix it with finished compost before applying it to the bare spots
in my lawn.

One question:
Do you put the grass seeds _before_ spreading out peat moss?


I let the peat moss settle well before seeding. The compost/peat moss mix is
a good idea. Phisherman made a good point about peatmoss not having
nutrients like compost. Maybe you could do like I did and just try it in a
section first, then do the whole lawn if it makes a difference.

Leslie



Thanks.

Jay Chan



  #9   Report Post  
Old 23-07-2003, 03:12 AM
Jay Chan
 
Posts: n/a
Default How to Improve Lawn Soil? Go Organic?

I let the peat moss settle well before seeding.

Thanks for the info.

Phisherman made a good point about peatmoss not having
nutrients like compost. Maybe you could do like I did and just try it in a
section first, then do the whole lawn if it makes a difference.


OK. Then I will have to use up all three large bags of peat moss in
three years instead of just one fall.

Jay Chan
  #10   Report Post  
Old 23-07-2003, 04:03 AM
David J Bockman
 
Posts: n/a
Default How to Improve Lawn Soil? Go Organic?


"Jay Chan" wrote in message
om...
http://www.espoma.com/pdf/garden/GI_4.pdf

You can substitute your own organic brands for Espoma's, although I like

and
use Espoma's organic fertilizers.


Good. I would take a look at their mix. Thanks.

I would also recommend laying down rich
topsoil in the fall, core aerating, then overseeding.


Yes, this is definitely something that I will do in this fall. The
only exception is that I will use finished compost instead of top
soil. I will be spreading out top soil onto the lawn before this fall
anyway. Therefore, I am kind of not wanting to add the same thing onto
my lawn again in fall.


I think you will find that the compost will 'vanish' quickly. Rick, highly
organic topsoil, combined with adequate liming to bring the soil to a better
pH for grass is usually recommended.

If your area experiences substantial freeze/thaw cycles over the winter,
it's also useful to sneak in an additional overseeding right before a
major snowstorm.


Why is overseeding right before a snowstorm useful? Wouldn't that kill
the young seeds that have just germinated?


No, you might get some fall germination but that grass will be fine until
spring. The snow thing is an old timer's trick: The idea is that the snow
insulates the seed, and the daily freeze/thaw cycles really work the seed
into the soil well, until temps warm in the spring and it germinates. It's
worked well for me in zone 7...

Dave




  #11   Report Post  
Old 23-07-2003, 10:02 PM
Jay Chan
 
Posts: n/a
Default How to Improve Lawn Soil? Go Organic?

I think you will find that the compost will 'vanish' quickly. Rick, highly
organic topsoil, combined with adequate liming to bring the soil to a better
pH for grass is usually recommended.


I see your point. Thanks.

No, you might get some fall germination but that grass will be fine until
spring. The snow thing is an old timer's trick: The idea is that the snow
insulates the seed, and the daily freeze/thaw cycles really work the seed
into the soil well, until temps warm in the spring and it germinates. It's
worked well for me in zone 7...


Thanks. This sounds like a very interesting trick.

Jay Chan


Reply
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules

Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Improve dry soil? Duncan Tuna Gardening 11 09-05-2006 06:37 AM
How to improve dry soil? Duncan Tuna Lawns 3 04-05-2006 02:58 PM
What can I do to improve compacted soil? MM United Kingdom 5 25-03-2005 07:56 PM
How to Improve Lawn Soil? Go Organic? Jay Chan Gardening 0 25-07-2003 08:12 PM
Need to improve large area of soil Mark Allison United Kingdom 10 26-05-2003 10:59 AM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 02:09 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2004-2021 GardenBanter.co.uk.
The comments are property of their posters.
 

About Us

"It's about Gardening"

 

Copyright © 2017