How to Grow Grass in Red Clay


Though visually stunning, red clay soil can pose problems when growing grass. Though it does contain many minerals and can support life, certain considerations are necessary. Not all types of grass thrive, or even survive, in red clay. Even with the right kind of grass, proper care is necessary for it to take root and remain healthy. Understanding the intricacies of this type of land will give your yard a better chance at looking green and lush year-round.

Step 1

Test the pH level of the clay. Ideally, the pH should fall somewhere between 5.5 and 7.5. Add lime to raise the pH and sulfur to lower it.

Step 2

Add organic compost material to the clay. Mix this in well. According to the North Carolina Cooperative Extension, the ideal percentage of organic material falls between the 25 percent to 50 percent range.

Step 3

Add basic grass fertilizer after you've mixed in your organic compost material. This will help ensure proper nutrition.

Step 4

Lay down your grass seed according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Step 5

Water immediately after planting. Continue to water every day, or every other day at least, for the first several weeks, until sprouting begins. After that, water during dry spells.

Tips and Warnings

  • Keep fertilizers, sulfur, lime and all other chemicals out of the reach of children and pets.

Things You'll Need

  • PH testing kit
  • Lime or sulfur
  • Organic compost
  • Fertilizer


  • North Carolina State University: Dealing With Red Clay
  • North Carolina Cooperative Extension: Amending Clay Soils
  • Aggie Horticulture: Bermudagrass
  • Missouri Extension: Soil pH and Liming
Keywords: red clay dirt, soil growing, how to grow, grass grasses, what to use

About this Author

Mark Rhyman has been working as a freelance writer since 2005. His work has appeared in numerous online and print publications, such as "Kotori" magazine and "Inside Lacrosse." He has his bachelor's degree in English with a concentration in creative writing from the State University of New York at Brockport.