"Try as I might, I just can't seem to get my yard to look better,"said one new customer recently. After a few years of "DIY lawn care" attempts, we were handed to torch to oversee the fertilization and weed control needs of this wonderful homeowner.
Having a nice lawn is a bit of patience, a lot of science and sometimes even luck. When we say luck, we mean it. Some folks are unlucky. An unlucky customer would be one that moves into a new home only find out that their soil is poor. Literally, some lawns in the area have been robbed of their topsoil. These nutrient depleted lawns need more than just some fertilizer, herbicide and water to make them look good. They may need soil amendments.
A soil amendment can be any material added to the soil to help improve it. Soils need improvement when they don't drain properly, have poor structure, lack nutrients, or have other challenges related to water retention.
Some common soil amendments Twin Creeks Turf Specialists use are Lime, Gypsum and Milorganite. Each different and each with their unique benefit.
For instance, lawns with pH levels that are not optimal to growing turf grass are going to be less receptive of fertilizers. It will require more nitrogen, potassium or phoshorus do achieve even dismal results. A lime application will bring about a proper pH level and ensure that your inputs are being as effective as possible.
In our area there are many hard, compacted or heavy soils. These dense soils benefit from Gypsum. Gypsum helps to break up these soil types and improve the amount of moisture held in the soil. Moisture helps to retain and transmit nutrients. Rather the nutrients and water shedding off, they will have a greater ability to penetrate into the root zone of region of the soil and improve the topsoil.
Another tried and true amendment is Milorganite. This product brings about organic material and does so in a slow dose that doesn't overwhelm a site. Also bolstering nitrogen, Milorganite can feed a lawn while improving the organic material ratio.
In extreme conditions, tillage may be needed to fluff up and truly mix soil amendments into the ground. This gets the products deeper into the soil bank verses the products mentioned above that are spread by broadcast spreader in a top down fashion. Top down applications require more time for the products to get deeper. The downside to tillage though is that new seed or sod must be brought in as the bare ground from tilling is sure to bring about weeds.
Generally, soil amendments can be performed year round. If you think your lawn may be lacking in nutrients or composition, a soil test would be a great starting point to get the details to build a custom turf program for your property.