Soil Preparation for Your Lawn
The foundation of a good lawn is its soil type. Without the ideal soil type – and that’s loam – it would be difficult for you to create and maintain a beautiful lawn.
Conducting a Soil Test
The first step you should take is conducting a soil test to know if your soil type is loam and not anything else. There are basically four types of soil: clay, sand, silt, and of course loam. You can guess the type of soil your garden has just by gathering a handful.
If the soil in your hand is clumped together tightly then it’s most likely clay. If you squeeze it and the soil feels rough and seemingly filled with bits and pieces then it’s most likely sand. If, on the other hand, the mixture feels too smooth and almost liquid-like because of its inability to maintain any shape then it’s most likely silt. But if the soil mixture seems a compromise of all three then that’s probably loam and you may be ready to build your lawn.
Of course, that’s just an initial test to be performed. To ensure that you’ve made an accurate guess, you should take several samples from all parts of your lawn. You could send the samples to a clinic for accurate testing or purchase a soil testing kit and obtain the results yourself.
Smoothing Out Soil
Texture isn’t the only important factor when choosing the right soil for your lawn. You should also ensure that it has a smooth and even surface by taking out even the smallest visible stones and other objects in your soil. A smoother surface will facilitate digging later on. Take out all weeds that appear and if they persist in growing, you may use chemicals to hinder their growth.
Turning Your Soil into Loam
Let’s say that your soil tests produce poor results. Don’t despair because you can use organic matter to improve the soil quality and turn it into loam soil. Soil additives like peat and sand mixture, compost, mushroom manure, and peat moss can be used. Later on, when your soil reaches the appropriate grade, be sure to add lime throughout your lawn area for an improved overall effect.
Checking the Ph Value of Your Soil
Perhaps you’re wondering why you need to add lime to your lawn soil, and the answer is to lower the acidity of your soil. The health of your lawn will improve if the acidity level of your soil is moderate, ranging from 5.5 to 6.5. If, however, acidity level is too high, that’s when you add lime. The use of lime will also improve your soil’s structure. Add sulphate from ammonia instead if the acidity level of your soil is too low.
Finishing the Grade
After adding lime, you now have to finish grading your soil for your lawn plans. Start by digging out up to half a foot of depth. Rake spots to obtain optimal ground levels. Continue raking and rolling the soil until you finally smoothen the area of your newly grown soil.
The soil of your lawn should also be aired out once in a while. This process is referred to as aerification, and you can achieve it either with a fork or roller. When airing out the soil, you bring out brome soil and expose it to surface air. Brome soil has a high content of silicate sand, and this can improve the air and water circulating in your lawn soil. Use brome soil if you’ve excessively watered your surface or top soil too much.
Learn more about Lawn Aerators here
Other Tips to Remember for Soil Preparation for Your Lawn
Prepare your soil with drainage in mind because lawns are one type of garden that requires a regular and strict watering schedule.
The ideal soil depth for your lawn is around fifteen centimeters or half a foot. If you don’t wish to dig that deep, however, then a minimum of four inches should suffice.
After getting the top soil ready, use a lawn roller – not a lawn mower – to discover any low spots in the area that you might have overlooked in the past. If you find one, fill it using the same graded soil you used for the rest of the lawn then let it firm either by watering or rainfall.