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Clay Soil

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by River Hill, Sep 12, 2003.

  1. River Hill

    River Hill LawnSite Member
    Messages: 122

    I have a member in my Family whos yard is mostly clay, in central VA. I would like to aerate and seed for them this weekend. The lawn is fairly level and it's about 15,000 sq. ft. Do you know of any product I can apply to help brake up the clay.? They have some grass, but it's very thin and alot of bare spots. I have aerated many yards, as I own a Classesn split drive, but I am looking for something that might help this yard. I will probably take some soil samples this weekend for them.
  2. SWD

    SWD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 988

    There are many soil admending products availalbe. Vermiculite, Easolite, Diomatatous earth, coke ash, sand - all are weathered materials, all will assist in increasing the infiltration rate and drainage of clay soils.
  3. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,697

    compost and gypsum will do wonders to loosen clay soils. I'd stay away from sand. Sand (large particle) + clay (small particle) = hard as concrete.
  4. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,143

    Sand is not good for clay soil, contrary to popular beliefs. The more organic matter the better. It won't change over night, either. It takes a while to improve clay soil.
  5. GLAN

    GLAN Banned
    Messages: 1,647


    Has the answer I would have given.

    You would realy want to collect the cores, but...............just core and top with compost, rake it into the holes. Repeat in the spring.

    Any grass there mulch it, core again late spring early summer.

    Have to work the organic matter into the clay some how..........;)
  6. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,925

    Before going to all of that trouble of trying to make a thin lawn look good and knowing there is a clay problem, most likely causing the lawn to be thin, why not till in organic materials (maybe bring in more topsoil), Level and reseed. Doing this will allow for a much nicer lawn and future disapointment in thining and barespots.
    Pros and cons on cost and labor but simple and easy fix almost any one can do.
    P.S. either way you go use gypsum also to help break down the clay.
  7. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    We have clay soil and I have found nothing short of DYNAMITE that will break it up. Honestly, when it drys out it is as hard as concrete.
  8. pinnacle

    pinnacle LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 791

    There are excellant liquid gypsums on the market (get one with a high calcium content) This means no digging and It will do wonders to clay bass soils.
  9. pottstim

    pottstim LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 501

    Would limestone work in a situation like this? Zinc mining is/was big in this area and limestone is a by-product. There are at least 4-5 mines near my home where you can buy lime. Many people around here will spread it on their yards.
  10. pinnacle

    pinnacle LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 791

    Pottsim: It would depend on soil Fertility/Soil PH.

    You need to pick a soil conditioner that will match these factors.

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