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Crazy idea to add top soil

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by nwjt, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. nwjt

    nwjt LawnSite Member
    Posts: 11

    My front yard is hard clay. I have an idea, what do you think of it?

    I would aireate the yard well. Then I would buy bags of topsoil and mix it with with water so it is fairly runny (not just muddy, but liquidy). Then pour that over the soil to get it down into the holes.

    Would be some work but it seems like a good idea, would it work? I would have to do it several times.

    Or would just pouring sand over the top be better and easier?

  2. tombo82685

    tombo82685 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 288

    What are your trying to do?
    If your trying to alter your soil properties getting away from clay to help with drainage. You can aerate by pulling the cores or solid tinning then top dress a 70/30, 80/20 mix of sand and like a mushroom soil and spread it over the lawn to incorporate into the lawn. You can also rent a dry ject which aerates and then injects sand into the profile.
  3. nwjt

    nwjt LawnSite Member
    Posts: 11

    So sand is the way to go? I am pretty new at this but I always thought topsoil was the best for grass.

    My soil compacts easy, dries fast, the water won't penatrate very well, and the weeds run rampant.
  4. tombo82685

    tombo82685 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 288

    What is your goal to accomplish in your yard? If you want better infiltration do sand, but not straight sand, like a 70/30 or 80/20 mixture with soil or organic matt
  5. cmlandscapeconstruction

    cmlandscapeconstruction LawnSite Member
    Posts: 70

    i would collect a soil sample, have it analyzed, and use those results as your baseline,to make appropriate soil ammendments. keep in mind that your locaton,which i did not see listed, plays a vital role in what material to use.check with your local cooperative extension
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    Sand and compost mix is best for clay. That will become your topsoil.

    Topsoil is 45% clay, 45% sand, 10% silt/organic matter.

    When you add topsoil to your clay you are adding more clay which you do not want.
  7. tombo82685

    tombo82685 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 288

    you could also just aerate pulling the cores and leave the holes open. Then whatever material falls in their ex grass clippings or leaves it will be broken down by the microbes and becomes top soil
  8. nwjt

    nwjt LawnSite Member
    Posts: 11

    I live in eastern Nebraska, Zone 5 I think. In my front yard, the dirt is hard, grey. It is hell to dig into, and cracks when dry. Water runs off the top. Grass clippings do not decay, but rather just form a layer that stops new grass, but not sedge. (but then again sedge comes up through the landscaping plastic and 2 tons of rock).

    So it seems that the correct solution would be to:
    Mix compost and "sand" at 80/20 (which kind)
    spread that into the lawn and into the holes.

    My neighbors grass is fiarly good, but then again he waters a lot, fertilizes a LOT, and for all his work its not THAT good. He gets dead spots out of nowhere and the grass looks faded. From my understanding, the soil is too much clay.

    Would I gain anything by "liquifying" the sand/compost mixture and pouring that on the lawn into the core holes?

    My goal is to build a good foundation for a good lawn and not have to make it survive off chemicles and herbicides.
  9. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,911

  10. tombo82685

    tombo82685 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 288

    a mix of compost and sand would be best. You would get the proper nutrients in the compost and you would get the infiltration with the sand. You would want to aerify pulling the cores. You cant just throw it on top of the soil or you will get layering in you profile which isnt good, you want a nice even distribution that gradually settles into one profile to another.

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