Why Is Good Soil Important?
For optimum growth, turfgrass needs just four things (in the proper balance) to grow…sunlight, air, water and nutrients. Reduce any of these, or provide too much of any one, and the grass may die or simply suffer. In theKids Love Turfgrass right proportions, the grass will flourish, providing not only beauty to the landscape, but also a clean and safe place to play and many benefits to the environment.
Grass obtains three of these four essential factors (air, water and nutrients) from the soil, but many soils are less than ideal for growing grass. Some soils contain too much clay and may be very compacted… great for roads, bad for grass, because air and water aren’t available to the roots and the roots can’t grow. Other soils may have too much sand… beautiful on a beach, but difficult to grow grass because water and nutrients won’t stay in the root zone long enough for the plant to use. Another frequently observed problem with many soils is that its pH (the degree of acidity or alkalinity) is too high or two low for optimum grass growth.
What Is The Best Soil For Turfgrass?
Loams, sandy loams and loamy sands, with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0 are the very best soils for producing a beautiful, high-use, low-maintenance lawn. Unfortunately, this ideal soil mixture is seldom found on any property after construction.
How Deep Should the Soil Be For Turfgrass?
The absolute minimum quality soil depth for a care-free lawn is 10 cm (4 inches); however, for deeper root penetration and the benefits that brings, the accepted standard is 15 cm (6 inches).
Can Soils Be Improved?
Practically without exception, not only can most soils be improved, they usually need to be improved to get the maximum results with only a minimum of other on-going effort.
The knowledge of what’s necessary, the amount and availability of materials and the immediate costs of time and money are the factors that typically deter people from taking the steps necessary to improving the soil. While some people do not fully understand the importance of good soils for grass, many also believe they can save time and money by ignoring the need to improve their lawn’s soil.
The fact is that failing to improve the soil before planting is only inviting a much greater and continual investment of both time and money, that will never return its value as fully as preparing the soil properly before planting any grass.
Where can I find Information on Turfgrass Issues?
Since turfgrass is a living plant, problems will arise from time to time. Many of these problems need to be addressed appropriately for the good of the plant, but knowing what to do is not always easy. As such, Sod Solutions has created a library of on-line interactive guides that should help with almost any problem related to turfgrass. Please take a moment to read the descriptions of the on-line guides below and use the guide that is most applicable to your situation. Good luck.
The Florida Lawn Handbook
This guide is not just for Floridians. It is packed with outstanding information about establishment (installation), including:
- Selection and Adaptability
- Weed Control
- Insect Problems
- Disease Problems
- Other Pests
- Pesticide Application and Use
This guide also has an excellent search tool for finding your problem fast.
1998 Clemson University Pest Control Recommendations for Professional Turfgrass Managers
This guide has been called the “definitive work” on chemicals for turf and is written primarily for professionals in the turfgrass industry or laypeople who want all the details. Use this guide to understand the remedial actions needed to manage insects, weeds, and disease. This guide has been made available courtesy of Clemson University. Clemson’s Pest Control Recommendations
The Texas Plant Disease Handbook
This guide written for lawn and turf plants is another excellent source for helping you identify and treat all manner of diseases that may be affecting your turfgrass. You will find this guide arranged by turf type and cause. The guide a search engine to get you where you need to go fast.