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Clay like soil

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by ztoro, Nov 2, 2003.

  1. ztoro

    ztoro LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 735

    Or soil has a lot of clay in it and although we got the grass to come it doesnt seem to be thrivingcame in early spring of this year.... I water it at least once every other day if not once a day. I used the scott fertilizer and still seems hurting. Is their anything else I can do to help the grass along? Beside tearing it up and starting over with good soil... I know its going to be winter but would like to know what I should do for early spring......
  2. kickin sum grass

    kickin sum grass LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 628

    soil test first to see what is going on. All the fert in the world won't do a thing if things are out of wack. Clay soil will grow grass, it sometimes is harder to do so. Where we are from it is almost all clay everywhere you go. After soil testing you can post results here if you are unsure what they mean. Somebody here will help out with recomendations.
  3. excel25

    excel25 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 393

    What type of grass ? and where are you located?
  4. ztoro

    ztoro LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 735

    I have the basic contractor mix from home depot..

    Its rye, fescue, and i think some bluegrass.

    live in NJ
  5. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Messages: 4,040

    Hi Ztoro,

    Here is some information you may find helpful.

    "The perfect mix for a super lawn is 50% sand, 25% silt and 25% clay.
    The problem most people have with their soil is that it has too much clay or sand. This means you have to add organic material to the soil to get the right mix. "

    From this site.

    Here is another quote.

    "Typically, soil has either too much clay or too much sand. In either situation, working organic peat moss into the soil will improve it. Dig 2 inches of peat moss (or peat moss combined with compost) into the top 6 inches of soil. When mixed with heavy clay soil, peat creates air pockets that give roots room to grow and breathe. In sandy soil, peat moss retains the water and fertilizer that usually drain away too quickly."

    From this site.
  6. ztoro

    ztoro LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 735

    Team Gopher,

    Thanks, this seems to be my problem. The water just runs off the yard and doesnt seem to soak in. The soil seems very compact. Should I do anything before the winter? like use an airator(spell?)? Since the grass is already grown in I cant mix in any peat moss, any suggestions?
  7. ztoro

    ztoro LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 735

    thanks again Gopher that web page is very helpful!
  8. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,697

    ztoro - you can aerate, then topdress with compost or a finely ground peat moss. This is not a one-time cure. This will have to be done for several years to achieve desirable results, but it can be done on an existing lawn.
  9. heritage

    heritage LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,354

    Z Toro,
    You can apply pellitized gypsum at 50 lbs per 1000 sq. ft. on an annual basis in the fall after aeration. Over time (3-5) years soil drainage should improve greatly. Also keep an eye on soil tests base saturtion percent as the excess Ca in gypsum may force out some Mg and K so you may have to add some sul-po-mag in the spring to keep things in balance.

    Pete D
  10. I disagree with 50% sand, this mix will make concrete!!


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