Have you ever heard of the saying that you are what you eat? The same can be said for your lawn’s health starting at the source of nutrient uptake, i.e., the grass’s roots and the soil it inhabits.
The quality of your soil plays a huge factor in the overall health of your lawn and garden. Grass soil and garden soil provide nutrients, water, air and a place of anchorage for roots. On the other hand, soil can also contain insects, diseases, nematodes or overall poor nutrient quality.
Read on to get general understanding of soils, soil pH levels and how lawn soil interacts with plant roots so that your lawn is vibrant and healthy.
Soil types matter because they vary in pH and nutrients. If you understand your soil type, you’ll have a general idea of which nutrients it usually has or lacks. There are three types of soil: sandy soil, clay soil and loamy soil.
How to Manage Sandy Soil
Sandy soil is coarse and gritty to the feel and water moves through it quickly, so it has a low water holding capacity. For this reason, sand is poor in nutrient content.
Sandy soil’s nutrient content can be improved by regularly adding organic material, such as top dressing, compost or well-rotted manure. This will help improve (slow down) drainage, increase the water holding capacity and as a result increase plant nutrient uptake.
How to Manage Clay Soil
Clay soil is reddish brown and is fine and powdery when dry. In contrast to sand, water moves through it slowly, so it has high water holding capacity—typically, too much. Clay soils can be rich in plant nutrients, but the pH is often too high or low, so those nutrients are not available to plants.
Clay soil can be improved by adding organic material, such as top dressing, compost or well-rotted manure. This will improve (increase) drainage and provide more appropriate water holding capacity. Organic material will also lighten heavy soil.
How to Manage Loamy Soil
Loamy soil is dark brown and contains clay and sandy soil in moderate proportions with some organic material. Water moves through it at a moderate rate, so it has a moderate water holding capacity. It is rich in plant nutrients. For this reason, loamy soil is ideal for growing healthy grass.
Why does soil pH matter?
Image from https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/soil-acidity/soil-ph
pH is a way to explain the amount of hydrogen ions in a solution. In other words, the more hydrogen ions in a solution, the more acidic the soil. When it comes to your lawn or garden’s soil pH, it’s helpful to think of the pH as the mouth to your plants by which it consumes nutrients.
The pH scale ranges from 0, or highly acidic, to 14, or highly alkaline. The mouth of your grass is “wide open” when it has a pH of 6.0–7.0, which is neutral and ideal for growing healthy grass. This means that your soil is in the ideal range to receive nutrients.
Plants grown in soils that are too acidic or too alkaline cannot adequately access plant nutrients, whether they occur naturally in the soil or are applied in the form of fertilizer.
If you are applying fertilizer to your lawn without knowing the pH to your soil, you could very well be wasting your money. Don’t do it. Instead, invest more time and money in determining the pH balance of your soil first. pH kits are inexpensive and reliable. We’ve included a few recommended products below.
However, we highly recommend collecting a soil sample and submitting it for analysis in order to receive a professional, thorough diagnosis of your soil. Soil testing options are often inexpensive and cost around $10 in some cases. Learn more here.
Soil Health and Nutrition
One of the best ways to manage your lawn and garden soil is by feeding it the proper nutrition it needs. Imagine you could opt for a fertilizer that is easier to apply, is effective over a wider soil pH range and requires less product and less work. Lawnifi®, a cutting-edge fertilizer, reduces the age-old problems associated with ionic nutrient lockup.
Lawnifi is powered by Catalyst TechnologyTM, which nano-sizes its nutrients so that more of them are absorbed through the roots and leaves. Since Lawnifi nano-sizes its nutrients, larger amounts of nutrients are efficiently delivered to plants.
The amount of product that needs to be applied is significantly reduced while using 80 percent less nitrogen and yielding better results. With less nitrogen usage, Lawnifi fertilizers work to balance carbon-nitrogen ratios (C:N) in your soil for optimum soil and microbial health. Learn more about the importance of carbon in your soils here. Lawnifi is also packed with micronutrients that are essential to your lawn’s overall health.
Check out the New Lawn Starter Box, Spring Fertilizer Box and Annual Fertilizer Subscription below. Lawnifi is also available in the Summer Fertilizer Box, Fall Fertilizer Box and a granular formulation, Lawnifi Foundation (not represented below).
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Soil types vary depending on the climate and location you live in. This doesn’t mean that managing your soil has to be difficult though. We hope this helpful information will assist you in lawn and garden soil maintenance. Even the worst of soils won’t stand a chance against you with these tips.