Lawns & Beach Sand

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by DLCO, Feb 26, 2013.

  1. DLCO

    DLCO LawnSite Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 14

    The very little information I found while I was researching this seemed to agree with that statement. The general consensus was REPLACE THE SAND WITH SOIL.

    Doing a bit more reading on this site I found an old thread back from 2004, and this quote stood out to me:

    (http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=61792&highlight=nematodes+price&page=2)

    So I guess while it may be possible for me to be able to establish and somewhat maintain a healthy lawn, in order for any organic fertilizers to contribute, I need to have a good humus layer?

    What are opinions on time frame to achieve such results through ammending with topdressing? could it be done within a season?
     
  2. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,250

    How do you know that the sand you are talking about is beach sand ? Are you close to one of the great lake's ? Before you over-complicate the situation have that soil tested for it's water holding capacity.

    I think that "humus layer" is the wrong term for what you want, but i know what you mean. You don't ever want a homogeneous layer in your soil profile, that can cause problem's, even if it's a ideal material. Topdressing 1/4 inch at a time will mix the sand and compost. If you want to use more material than that at one time you need to till that in. If you topdressed four time's a year with 1/4 inch of compost you would only amend the top 1-2 inch's in your soil profile, it's probably a 3-5 year process to make a difference.
     
  3. DLCO

    DLCO LawnSite Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 14

    hmm i thought that humus was pretty much defined as an ideal soil made up of organic matter? Either way, perhaps I should know my terminology a little better before throwing such words around.

    Anyways, as I stated in a previous post, I am about 2km away from Gerogian Bay which runs off from Lake Huron. Below is a picture of my area before my house was built. The sand is VERY fine texture.

    [​IMG].

    It's not just my area either. It's the whole town, and I'm assuming the surrounding towns. Water holding capacity would be standard on a soil test?

    I'm not so concerned for my own house really, but the potential to offer services to clients. I can inform them (if they didn't already know) about ammending the soil and the length of time it could take to make a difference, or go the route of trying to sell them a whole new lawn, removing and replacing sand with soil.
     
  4. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,250

    Most standard soil test's are only going to report on nutrient level's. It look's like Guelph University soil testing will give a soil moisture reading, but that isn't accurate because by the time they test your sample, it's dried out. I think you would have to specifically ask for this measurement, and i'm not sure how they would term this, "plant available water" or "soil moisture" or something else, i just don't know. This link might be a starting point.

    http://www.guelphlabservices.com/AFL/GrowersSoil.aspx

    But you are close to a large body of water and you said yourself that it is very fine sand, so you know it drain's too fast and probably doesn't hold nutrient's well. A good topdresser and a good supply of compost might be the way to go.
     
  5. DLCO

    DLCO LawnSite Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 14

    UoG was one of the places I was considering sending soil samples to.
    I thank you and I sincerely appreciate the effort you put in to reply.
     
  6. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,560

    I think your best bet is to establish native plants which will thrive in this environment. Trying to establish and maintain turf here will be an expensive and uphill battle.
     
  7. DLCO

    DLCO LawnSite Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 14

    I thank you for the input, but everyone here has some sort of a lawn, and I think most people don't want only bedding as their "lawn". It may be uphill and expensive, but just think, if I can get a few customers, and my own lawn to look good, others will take notice. Hence, my thought of removing 6" of sand and bringing in triple mix... that should be a very good starting off point rather than taking years to ammend the soil.
     
  8. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,560

    Best of luck to you. Please keep us informed of your progress.
     

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