Do You Know Your Dirt? Soil Health

Few homeowners realize how important soil quality is to the overall health of their grass.  However, if you don't have good soil as the foundation of your Burlington turf maintenance, you won't have the yard you desire.  Just like you would with flowerbeds and vegetable gardens, your lawn's soil needs to be cared for.  Next time you're wondering how to get your grass greener, don't be afraid to get your hands dirty.

Know your soil
Before you begin turf maintenance program, it's essential that you know what kind of soil you're dealing with.  You'll need to adjust your program to match your lawn's unique soil type.  Soil contains a mixture of air and organic matter, alongside mineral particles.  The best way to figure out the exact makeup of your soil is to test it. A Nutri-Lawn Burlington representative can assist you with this process.

Sand is the largest mineral particle to be found in soil. What's more, sand has the most space between particles when compared to clay and silt.  If your soil is made up of 50% or more sand, your lawn will have moisture retention and fertility issues.  Due to its extreme porousness, soils with high levels of sand will drain better than other soils, dry faster, and will heat up quicker in the summer. 

Silt is less dense than clay, but more so than sand.  It is created by erosion and decomposition of rock in the soil.  Because it is more dense than sand, it is closer characteristically to clay yet will have a harder time retaining water due to its looser density. 

Sand's opposite, clay is made up of the smallest particles than any of the other minerals contained in soil.  Clay is the least porous and densest mineral within soil, making it more fertile and improving water retention.  A soil with 50% or more clay takes longer to dry up, and stays cold longer.  It will not drain as easily, which is an important point to remember when adjusting your irrigation schedule for Burlington turf maintenance.  Overwatering can create more serious issues with clay soil.

Which soil combination is best?
A perfect balance of the three soil minerals will be the most fertile and efficient.  About 40% of each sand and clay, and 20% of silt will create a loamy soil to bring in the best characteristics of each mineral.  Loam can retain water, while still being able to drain.

Check your pH levels
It's important to your soil's ability to soak up nutrients that the pH levels are near neutral.  A level of around 6 to 7 is the range that you'll want to achieve in your turf maintenance in Burlington. 

If you find that your soil is too acidic – somewhere under the 7 level – you may want to consider using lime to balance it out again.  For soils above 7 that have a high alkaline level, sulphur will help create neutrality. 

Talk to one of our experts to get your soil's pH levels tested.

Soil compaction
With as much traffic as your yard probably gets, it's easy for the soil to become compact.  With the lawn mower, children's feet, dog's paws, and anything else that goes across your yard, the soil gets pushed more and more together.  If you have a hard time pushing a rod 6 to 9 inches into your soil, it's probably time to aerate.  This will allow air and water to get into your soil, without facing tightly packed dirt. 

For more advice on turf maintenance in Burlington and surrounding areas, contact Nutri-Lawn for your complimentary quote today!