What Is the Best Soil for Green Lawns?
When it comes to growing a healthy and vibrant golf course lawn, there are several factors to consider, including soil type, grass type, and growing conditions like temperature and weather. Choosing the best soil for your lawn is crucial for nurturing your grass and achieving that picture-perfect green lawn. Here, we'll look at the best types of soil for lawns and explore soil that is suited for growing healthy grass.
So, let's get started!
What Is Lawn Soil? Understanding the Different Types of Soil
There are four main types of soil that you might find in your yard: sandy soil, clay soil, silty soil, and loam soil.
Sandy soil is a good option for grass since it’s very porous and drains water quickly, providing easy access to moisture for the roots. Sandy soil is among the best topsoil for lawns. You can use it in your topdressing applications to make your lawn smooth and improve drainage.
On the other hand, clay-like soil also has its benefits, since it is firm and holds moisture, making it easier for grass roots to absorb. Clay soil is common in the United States. But, soil that contains too much clay can cause soil compaction problems — limiting air and soil circulation.
Silty soil is another type of fast-draining soil, like sandy soil, but it has smaller particles which can make the water drain faster. Finally, loam soil is the perfect mixture of sandy, clay, and silty soils in the right proportions and is one of the best kinds of soil for your lawn.
The Best Lawn Soil Quality
The best soil for your lawn depends on your grass type and area. There’s no universal soil type that suits all conditions and environments. Testing the soil in your lawn is crucial to understanding the conditions beneath the surface. To achieve a lush and healthy lawn, you need to know what nutrients your grass might lack because poor soil quality can limit grass growth. A soil test kit is a simple tool that can give you results in as little as a week, ensuring you only spend money on the fertilizers and biostimulants your lawn really needs.
To find out which grass type is most suited to your area, read our helpful blog post.
For your grass to thrive, it requires several essential nutrients in large amounts (macronutrients). These three nutrients are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
Nitrogen: An essential component of chlorophyll, which gives grass its green color. If your grass looks yellow and brittle, it's likely lacking nitrogen, making it more susceptible to disease.
Phosphorus: This is important for strengthening the root system.
- Potassium: Promotes healthy grass growth and increases grass stress resistance.
Most fertilizers abbreviate these nutrients as "NPK," with a number substituting each letter indicating how much of each macronutrient is supplied by the lawn fertilizer. Once you receive your soil test results, you can determine which specific nutrients your soil lacks, including any micronutrient deficiencies that your lawn might have (nutrients your lawn needs in lesser amounts).
You can correct these deficiencies with a product like NutriSolve. The soil test kit will also tell you your grass's pH level, which should be neutral between 6 and 7 for optimal growth. You can use a pH adjustment product to lower or raise your soil pH level. Remember that healthy grass thrives in soil with a good pH balance and loose, biologically active soil.
Related: How Soil Tests for Your Lawn Can Save You Money
The Best Lawn Soil Products
Lawn fertilizers aren’t the only lawn-care products that can help you improve your soil quality via nutrient availability. Ever heard of… biostimulants? A lawn biostimulant is a substance or microorganism that can be used to enhance plant nutrition and improve the ability of plants (not just grass) to withstand environmental stress by optimizing soil health. You can keep your soil in top condition with a monthly biostimulant application like we show in this free lawn-care schedule.
Soil moisture managers like Hydretain can also help dry soil retain moisture, especially if you live in a hot, drought-prone area. When applied to the soil, Hydretain creates a thin film around the roots of plants that attract moisture molecules and prevents them from evaporating, reducing water requirements by up to 50%.
Lawn Soil Love!
By taking a handful of soil and forming a small ball in your hand, you can work out what kind of soil you have alongside your soil test results. If the soil disintegrates easily, it likely contains an excess of sand and possibly lacks nutrients (but let your soil test be the judge of that!). Soil that sticks together to form a solid mass likely contains too much clay and limits air circulation, so you should core aerate your lawn to prevent grass suffocating. Loamy soil, a combination of sand and clay material, will form a ball that falls apart naturally when placed down. Loam soil is the best soil type for promoting healthy turf growth with minimum complications.
Got your soil test results? Nice! Shop our range of lawn fertilizers to find the right fertilizer to improve soil quality.