There are typically three soil types (clay, sandy and loam) with many soils fitting in between the three. For example, you might have a clay loam or a sandy loam type of soil at your place.
For lawn purposes a great soil is a loam soil and if you are lucky enough to have that, chances are you won’t have much to do in the way of soil improvement but if you have another type…you’ll need to read on.
Before you install your new lawn you really should ensure that you have a depth of 150mm of good soil.
Clay soils will inherently hold water and nutrients well but don’t drain as well as sandy soils, especially if they are compacted. Improve by adding organic matter and gypsum and work them through the soil to open up the soil structure, improve drainage, improve oxygen levels and make the nutrients more available. For light clay add 1kg per square metre of gypsum, 2kgs per square metre for heavy clay soils.
Sandy soils allow water to drain very quickly which can be a good thing but that can also mean that the essential nutrients are being taken away too. They also can dry out very quickly and become water repellent. Improve by adding organic matter and soil that has some clay content to improve the nutrient levels and the capacity to hold water.
Note: when carrying out any soil improvement work, remove any stones, small roots, rocks and debris you come across.
If the soil is already compacted or you’re putting down a lawn in a new estate where the original soil is all but gone, you will need to carry out some repair work (vertimowing for compaction and excavation for new estates) before you can get to work on improving the soil.
Contact Harden Park Lawns to learn more about improving your soil in preparation for installing your new lawn.