sandy soil, and topdressing

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by DeereHauler, Nov 4, 2007.

  1. DeereHauler

    DeereHauler LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 604

    i have just started the lawn maintenance on a large commercial property. their soil (or lack of) is almost all sand. i did a small test where i put thier soil in container with water, shook it up, and within seconds most of the soil settled. it turned out to be about 80% sand. this area of the state i'm told is the largest sand depoit east of the mississippi.

    right now they have weeds. i have read about topdressing, which is not being practiced in this area. from what i have read a good compost would help re-establish this lawn.

    i'm looking for suggestions. is spring a good time to topdress, should i aerate? overseed? and in what order? and what about a fert. program?

    i have never delt with such sandy soil, any help would be great

  2. onebreezer

    onebreezer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 109

    I have been top dressing for years. I use top soil. You should amend w/ top dressing that is somewhat simular to the existinh soil. In your case use sand and compost or sand and peat moss. I appy w/ a Turfco top dresser. You can aerate to help mix the material in with the subsoil. In your case aerate then top dress.
  3. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    It's too late for seed now this fall. If you think erosion could be an issue, you could use annual rye, or even winter rye to help hold the ground temporarily.

    Did you do an actual pH type of soil test, or just a crude test to look at % of soil contents of sand, silt & clay?
    I agree with the fellow who talked about topsoil, but I'd like to know what existing pH is there to know if lime or sulfur would be helpful to raise or lower the pH.
    Another thing I know that you can't lose with using on an area like that is calcite clay, or sports soil conditioner 'Turface', or 'kitty litter' (without the deodorizer, of course!)
    Calcite clay can be worked in to the topsoil, and it will help to condition the soil to balance the moisture levels better from top to bottom. You can buy that in 2000# skid-mounted 'super sacks' if it's a BIG area, or in 50# bags if it's small.

    Sounds to me like you're sitting on a old glacier's esker. An esker is a strand of sand or light gravel that travelled with the meltwater of a glacier and was deposited as the water slowed.

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