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Soil Improvement with Organic Materials E-mail
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Monday, 03 September 2007

Soil Improvement with Organic Materials

By Jack Greenwood

The most suitable soil for most lawn is loamy soil. If your lawn soil is predominantly sandy or clay, you can fix the problem by adding organic materials. If you have no idea what type of soil your lawn has, simply send a sample of your lawn soil to the nearest soil-testing lab for analysis.

Alternatively, purchase a D-I-Y soil test kit and do the test yourself. The result may not be as reliable as the one provided by the soil-testing lab but should be enough to determine the type of soil your lawn has. Compost, sawdust, ground bark and leaf mold are examples of common organic materials used for improving lawn soil. So how can these organic materials help your lawn soil?

1. If your lawn soil is predominantly clay, these organic materials can help to loosen and aerate the clay soil. They can also help to increase the water drainage capability of your lawn.

2. If your lawn soil is very sandy, these organic materials will help to improve the water retention as well as nutrient-holding capacity of your lawn.

3. They can help to attract microorganisms, earthworms and other soil borne creatures that will improve the lawn soil.

4. Your fertilizers will also work better with the help of these organic materials and enable the grass roots to sink further into the soil.

The best type of organic materials to use is compost, which is actually the humus that is left behind after the composting process. It is clean and easy to use. You can easily find compost from many waste disposal sites. You can either buy it in bags or get it delivered by the truckload. While it is possible to make your own compost, it is not advisable to do so, as you probably need a few years to make enough compost for your lawn. Use a wheelbarrow and a shovel to spread the compost on your lawn. If you buy in very large quantity, you can ask the delivery truck to coarsely spread the compost for you. You can even out the spread with a shovel later. For sandy and clay soil, try to spread about 2 inch of compost for every one thousand square feet of your lawn. If the lawn soil is quite loamy, you can reduce the thickness to 1 inch for every one thousand square feet.

Besides compost, you can also try other organic materials but you have to take note of a few potential problems. If you add sawdust, it may rob the soil of nitrogen as it decomposes. If you intend to use livestock manures, make sure they are fully decomposed. As live stocks often eat hays with lots of weed seeds, adding manures that are not fully decomposed can caused these seeds to germinate in your lawn. You may want to consult a lawn care expert before deciding which organic materials to add to your lawn. Before that, do a soil test if you have not done so. As long as you apply the right organic materials, your lawn will be able to grow strongly and healthily.

Jack Greenwood is the webmaster of GreenLawnCareTips.com

Last Updated ( Monday, 03 September 2007 )
 
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