I am sure you’ve read articles before that discussed what type of grass to plant in your yard or how to have a beautiful lawn – but have you ever taken the time to think about the soil beneath your turf? Why do we assume that the turf will perform to our high expectations without looking at the overall condition of the soil it is supposed to thrive in.
We are all guilty of falling into the trap of judging the quality of our turf by how green the grass is or how think they appear. So the real question is, “How do I get there?”
Start by doing a soil report. By knowing what nutrients are in the soil, organic matter content and how they all relate to one another to increase plant health is what soil reports are designed to do. Having a soil report done is like having a starting line of soil health and can act as a report card to see the progression of how your soils are being managed.
It is important to get several samples to get an overall snapshot of not only the troubled areas, but also the above average conditions to see how your soils are responding to micro climate areas. This is a very affordable way to ensure your budget isn’t being wasted on things that don’t work.
Knowing the history of products applied and when they were applied is just as vital to interpreting and understanding the data from the soil report. Your soil report will show what nutrients are available, deficient, and in excess. Having this information would allow a turf specialist to customize a soil fertility amendment program custom to your turfs needs.
Once the program is followed and well established, the results will be truly outstanding. There will be fewer weed infestations, fewer insect populations, deeper and denser root masses, less thatch accumulation and a better utilization of nutrients that up until now, were unavailable to the plants.
So you’ve taken care of the soil, but there’s another important factor – water! Most soils that are “dysfunctional” at various times of year are usually over or under watered. There are technologies developed to be incorporated into irrigation systems to maximize efficiency and minimize waste.
In the end, with a basic, balanced cultural approach to turf, irrigation, and soil health, we can make best use of what nature has provided.
What is your lawn telling you?