Without healthy soil, lawns are set up for failure. Many of the chronic lawn problems we see are a direct result of poor soil conditions, an ideal environment for thin, bare patches of grass, growing weed populations and the presence of harmful insects.
By taking the proper steps, you can keep the health of your soil on track. We’ve compiled this list of lawn soil tips to help steer you in the right direction.
Tip #1: Get a Soil Test
Before you can make changes to your soil, you need to have a clear understanding of its current state. That’s where a soil test adds significant value. From the results, you’ll be able to see the pH levels of your lawn soil, as well as the availability of nutrients and minerals.
For reference, let’s say your soil test measures a pH level of 5. Considerably lower than the neutral pH level of 7, these results indicate that your lawn soil is highly acidic — an environment where nutrients often fail to be absorbed properly and plants are unable to thrive. In this case, applying lime for lawns can help raise the pH of your lawn soil and restore its health.
Tip #2: Apply the Right Fertilizer Regularly
The food that your lawn soil needs to thrive is not always available naturally. That’s why fertilizer applications in the spring and fall are so important. These feedings should take place when temperatures reach 55 degrees Fahrenheit and about six weeks before the first frost, respectively.
In terms of the type of fertilizer to use, there’s a need to balance safety with effectiveness. While shopping around for products, you’ll notice differences in the nutritional contents of fertilizers. We recommend that you choose a phosphorus-free fertilizer — the same type we use for our lawn care services. Doing so eliminates concerns over elevated levels of phosphorous that can inhibit plant growth and pollute bodies of water, among other concerns.
Tip #3: Water Long Enough to Moisten Soil
Light waterings on a daily basis may seem like the optimal way to keep lawn soil healthy. This approach, however, fails to funnel water down to grass roots, where it is needed most. That’s why deep, infrequent waterings are the preferred route. Applying just an inch of water per week over one or two sessions will supply your lawn soil with nutrients, as well as air to breathe.
Just as important as how you apply water to lawn soil is when you do it. Warmer temperatures can place added stress on lawns, while leaving grass wet overnight can make it more susceptible to disease. With these factors in mind, watering is best left for the early morning (before 10 a.m.). In addition to cooler temperatures, calm breezes at this time of day help minimize water loss due to evaporation.
Looking to simplify lawn care for your Ohio home? With service throughout Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati, the team at Weed Pro is here to help. To learn more about what we can do for your lawn, contact your local provider.