Growing grass issues


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Location: Woonsocket, RI

I have spread top soil and sand in the center portion and have spread gypsum at various times. But all in fairly small amounts. I have rotoilled after this, and rototilled it all previously without spreading anything. I have fertilized and watered appropriately and have still only grew some grass on the edges of my yard, none in the center.

I did the mason jar test on the center area that has the issue, and attached a picture, the picture is about 20 hours of it settling. Looks like maybe 30% silt, 60% sand and 10% clay, but I'm having a hard time seeing the split between sand and silt. Also did a pH and got around 6.5, so the pH is fine I believe. This is from 2-3 inches down.

*mason test I did with just filtered water, no soap. And it's still somewhat cloudy, so maybe more clay than 10%....?

I was told previously my best bet would be to add compost. Trying to get some opinions on this.

For compost How many inches worth once spread around? And should it be tilled into soil or left on the top then seeded?
 

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As I understand, this is a follow-up thread to another one concerning your lawn that I was not involved with, so do forgive me if I repeat anything.

Compost, or any organic matter, will benefit all types of garden soil, be it sandy, silty, or clay.
It will improve water and nutrient retention in light soils, while improving drainage and friability in heavy soils.

If you are preparing to seed a lawn. Amend heavily with compost, till it in and then rake it flat. After evenly spreading grass seed, you should put another thin layer of compost over the top to act as a mulch during germination and root establishment.
 
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@Marck meant 6 inches of compost. You need to do this by mass, and that is what metric is made for as a system. The cloud in your test is clay. If you had measured the weight of clear water added you had a start point, but now you need a spectraphotometer to see the density of clay vs the density of clear water. It is the same idea as specific gravity in a way, the differences are percentages.
 
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As I understand, this is a follow-up thread to another one concerning your lawn that I was not involved with, so do forgive me if I repeat anything.

Compost, or any organic matter, will benefit all types of garden soil, be it sandy, silty, or clay.
It will improve water and nutrient retention in light soils, while improving drainage and friability in heavy soils.

If you are preparing to seed a lawn. Amend heavily with compost, till it in and then rake it flat. After evenly spreading grass seed, you should put another thin layer of compost over the top to act as a mulch during germination and root establishment.
Thanks for the reply, how many inches of compost do you recomend to have spread over the area before tilling it in?

Trying to figure out how much I'll need to get.
 
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Well, I've been told I meant six inches...
Seriously, for the most part I decide qualitatively. When the soil looks noticeably darker and feels loose and workable, I'm usually satisfied. I want enough organic matter to have a significant effect, but I don't want to obliterate the mineral component of the soil.
By the way, the particle size of the mineral component in my soil is largely clay.

Another point to consider when amending is erosion. Mounding can have a wonderful effect on drainage, but if all just spills downhill, or onto the driveway/sidewalk/patio/whatever then it is too much at one time. Six inches of compost could be a nice amount but it will raise the soil level significantly and suddenly. Can the topography of your site handle that?
 
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Well, I've been told I meant six inches...
Seriously, for the most part I decide qualitatively. When the soil looks noticeably darker and feels loose and workable, I'm usually satisfied. I want enough organic matter to have a significant effect, but I don't want to obliterate the mineral component of the soil.
By the way, the particle size of the mineral component in my soil is largely clay.

Another point to consider when amending is erosion. Mounding can have a wonderful effect on drainage, but if all just spills downhill, or onto the driveway/sidewalk/patio/whatever then it is too much at one time. Six inches of compost could be a nice amount but it will raise the soil level significantly and suddenly. Can the topography of your site handle that?
A fine point about the soil amendment calculators out on the web is that they weight clay to need about 1.8 times the amendments that a loam or other soil may need. This is just related to density. It is useful to know how much a 12 inch by 12 inch by 6 inch deep section of your soil weighs in kilograms. You really do not want to pass 30 percent organic matter, and really for lawns 5 percent or so might be considered rich. But obviously a percentage of one soil would be different than another type soil.
 

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Location: Woonsocket, RI

I have spread top soil and sand in the center portion and have spread gypsum at various times. But all in fairly small amounts. I have rotoilled after this, and rototilled it all previously without spreading anything. I have fertilized and watered appropriately and have still only grew some grass on the edges of my yard, none in the center.

I did the mason jar test on the center area that has the issue, and attached a picture, the picture is about 20 hours of it settling. Looks like maybe 30% silt, 60% sand and 10% clay, but I'm having a hard time seeing the split between sand and silt. Also did a pH and got around 6.5, so the pH is fine I believe. This is from 2-3 inches down.

*mason test I did with just filtered water, no soap. And it's still somewhat cloudy, so maybe more clay than 10%....?

I was told previously my best bet would be to add compost. Trying to get some opinions on this.

For compost How many inches worth once spread around? And should it be tilled into soil or left on the top then seeded?
When did you and what type of grass seed did you apply. I had a crazy year this year for lawn. Had great growth in the stuff that was growing. Had a huge Dhailigrass outbreak , mold , wash out from heavy rain. Construction damage you name it.
My lawn was long over due for some good help. Riding on the wet season we have/had I power raked, aerated, over seeded along with my lesco 4 step program.
I planted seed in early sept and it has come in various amounts and times since then.
I had spots that germinated and visible in 5-7 days. I have other spots that are really just taking off now.
I used aprox 1/2”-3/4” of 50% loam 50% compost from local supply.
I spread it out over the aerated lawn in the most bare/damaged spots. I then seeded. Skim coat more top dressing raked over lightly tapmped it down for good soil to seed contact. The large area in front of shed was a area they burried the stumps when they cleared the lot 40 years ago. It was sinking alot so had that fixed. I will take a pic of what it looks like now when I get home.
1D83C427-34C0-499F-BF9D-90244FD18A05.jpeg
36DB7F73-8AF7-449A-98F1-2C8DD9CFE0BB.jpeg
 
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What a lovely, picturesque setting. I like how it is enclosed by woods.

What is Dhailigrass? Is it another name for Dallisgrass (Paspalum dilatatum)?
 
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What a lovely, picturesque setting. I like how it is enclosed by woods.

What is Dhailigrass? Is it another name for Dallisgrass (Paspalum dilatatum)?
I think its the same, when I brought it down to the nice experienced women at local garden center she called it dhali grass. Perenial , tough and spreads. Anyhow think I got it all.
Heres how much it improved just in the last few weeks.
21A500FA-A5FD-42B2-8D63-B07E316C3692.jpeg
Still filling in and should be even better next year.
I slacked on lime last few years and it really showed.
Used that MySoil testing and my pawn was wearing thing on nutrients/organic matter ….. garden is next. I just laud out some Winter Rye to help rejuvenate the aoil a bit.
 
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The work in front of the shed was done mid july, 2nd pick was a few weeks later with a amall attempt to get new seed going in the peak of hot summer….some came in. The dark and bare spots in the 2nd pic are where I eliminated some dalis or dhaligrass. Then aerated and started spreading compost. I did a complete re seed 2nd week of sept ….3rd pic was yesterday. We had a wet last few weeks. Alot of my seed and compost washed away to lower spots in the yard.
From what my lawn went through this season im happy with how its going so far
 
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