A lush, green lawn requires good soil to remain in the peak of health. Good soils help sustain lawns during droughts while also supplying the correct amount and types of nutrients to the grass. Ensuring the soil is healthy before planting grass is easier than trying to improve the soil on an established lawn.
Clay soils drain poorly and compact easily, while sandy soils drain too quickly and don't provide proper support to the grass. A loamy soil that is rich in organic matter provides both drainage and support to lawns. Most soils require some amending before they supply the qualities required for healthy grass growth. Compost, peat moss and other organic amendments improve the quality of both sandy and clay soils. Working in 4 or more inches of amendments prior to planting improves even poor soils and makes them suitable for growing healthy lawns.
Well Drained and Aerated
Poorly drained soils become waterlogged easily or they compact and prevent water from penetrating to the root zone of the grass. Water instead sits above the soil and makes lawns susceptible to fungus and mold. Well-aerated soils allow water to drain into the root zone and also allow nutrients from fertilizers and lawn treatments to reach the grass roots. Even good soils become compacted over time. Aerating the soil with a lawn aerator, which removes plugs of soil and provides access to plant roots, improves aeration and drainage quality. Clay soil requires more frequent aeration than loamy or sandy soil.
Soil naturally has some nutrients present, while fertilizer helps replenish the nutrients as the grass uses them. Nitrogen is the most vital nutrient for lawn growth, as it encourages lush blade production and a deep green color. Leaving the grass clippings in place after mowing returns nitrogen to the soil, while a regular lawn fertilization schedule replaces any additional nitrogen and other soil elements to the soil and grass roots.