How to Choose the Best Soil for Your Lawn

A lawn is only as good as its soil. Unfortunately, some properties don’t have the soil it takes to grow great grass. Find out how you can choose the best soil for a thriving lawn.

The Importance of Soil Quality

When it comes to growing a lush lawn, many people overlook the importance of soil quality. They think that good sod or grass seed is enough to get the job done. However, this is far from the truth.

Without good soil, your lawn won’t grow well. Your lawn requires nutrients, and it gets those nutrients from the soil. A lack of nutrients means an unhealthy lawn.

You might think that fertilizer makes good soil unnecessary. However, the soil does more than just provide nutrients. It also allows your soil to drain well. Your soil needs to contain the right proportion of ingredients for it to drain well.

Another factor that matters to your lawn is breathability. If your lawn can’t breathe, it won’t grow well. Instead of a lush lawn, you’ll have a sparse one.

What Should You Look for in a Soil?

Ideally, your lawn soil should be a loam soil. Loam is a well-draining soil that contains sand, clay and humus. When they are in a certain proportion, the particles allow water to easily drain from the soil.

It all comes down to the space between the particles in your soil. If the spaces are large, the soil will drain quickly. Smaller spaces make the soil drain slowly. When your soil drains too quickly, your lawn doesn’t get enough water. But when it drains too slowly, it gets too much water.

Generally, clay soil has pores that are too close together for a healthy lawn. On the other hand, sandy soil has pores that are too far apart. You need loam soil if you want a flourishing lawn.

Understanding Your Soil

Soil type varies by location and climate. In some parts of the world, soil is mostly made up of sand. In other areas, it’s mostly clay. Areas like rainforests have soil rich in humus, the dead organic material that litters a rainforest floor.

Due to the extreme differences in soil types, it’s important for you to learn about your current soil. It’s the only way for you to choose the best soil for your lawn.

Before you apply grass seed or sod to your lawn, you need to study your soil and modify it. The key to understanding your soil lies in a soil test. After you run a soil test, you will know the nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium levels of your soil. You’ll also learn about your type of soil and its pH.

Treating it Accordingly

Once you get the results of your test, you need to treat your soil accordingly. If you have acidic soil, you need to take away that acidity. You can do so by adding lime to your soil. If you get the right pH balance, you can increase your chances of a beautiful lawn.

There’s another easy way to tell when your soil has the right proportion of elements. Although it might seem strange, the soil might be like sticky notes. It should stick, but not as strongly as tape.

When loam is wet, it shouldn’t be able to form a mud pie. But it shouldn’t fall apart when it’s dry. Instead, all of the elements should stick together. Run your rake through the soil and try to determine what it’s like. Even better, hold it in your hands and feel it for yourself.

Consider Your Vegetation

Before you select your soil, you should also consider your vegetation. Different grasses have different needs. If you have acidic soil, you can look for vegetation that thrives in acidic environments.

When you already know the grass you want to use, you need to be more discerning with your soil choice. Research the type of soil that your vegetation likes, Then, treat your soil accordingly. The right soil can make all the difference.

Finding Fertilizer

Almost as important as your soil is your fertilizer. Although you can work hard to choose the best soil for your lawn, it won’t always get the job done. Over time, the soil needs a little help.

Your lawn gets crucial nutrients like potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus from your soil. However, nitrogen moves through your soil as water moves through it. If you don’t fertilize your lawn with nitrogen, your lawn won’t get enough of the element. It won’t continue to be the lush lawn for which you worked so hard.

There’s another reason fertilizer is a necessity. If you have a lawn with a high or a low acidity level, your lawn can’t absorb the nutrients it needs. It impacts the health of your grass.

Even if you have a soil with a perfect pH, that level will decrease over time. Through irrigation and lawn maintenance, your soil’s pH becomes lower.

Shopping for fertilizer can seem overwhelming. However, it’s not as bad as you might think. The fertilizer tells you the nitrogen to potassium to phosphorus ratio. For a nitrogen-rich fertilizer, look for a high first number. For example, a fertilizer with a 34-0-4 ratio would have a high nitrogen content. Some fertilizers are designed to increase the pH of your soil. As a result, it helps your lawn absorb nutrients.

Much like choosing the right soil, choosing the right fertilizer depends on your soil. You should do soil testing to find out about your soil’s weaknesses. Then, look for a soil that will repair those weaknesses.

Getting the Lawn You Deserve

After you adjust your soil accordingly, you can start growing your lawn. If it’s the right type of soil, you’ll have a vibrant and healthy lawn.

Preparing your soil for optimal lawn growth isn’t easy. It requires an experienced hand. If you want the lawn you deserve, contact us at C.F Landscaping. Our experienced team can help you grow the lawn you’ve always wanted.


Colin Thomas MacMillan

Colin Thomas MacMillan, CEO of Riverwood Landscape, boasts over 8 years of expertise in landscaping and 3 years in transportation and logistics. A prominent figure, he serves as a board member for the Waterloo Chapter of Landscape Ontario and has been a vital part of the community for five years. Recognized for his insights, Colin has contributed to major industry events, including LeadsCON 2023. His entrepreneurial journey in landscaping began post-high school, driven by a lifelong aspiration and self-taught skills. Outside work, Colin's interests span history and video games, and he's dedicated three years to learning German, reflecting his commitment to personal growth. His professional ethos emphasizes a resilient, people-first approach, advocating for mastering current tasks and prioritizing quality in business and client relations. An avid reader of industry articles and an active networker, Colin's dynamic approach to professional development cements his status as a leader and an inspiration in landscaping and logistics.

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