Your lawn can be the kind you dream about or a maintenance nightmare if it isn't done right.

Recommendations for Lawn Soil

While it is a pleasant advantage to have really good soil for the lawn, lawns can usually make out pretty well with whatever soil you happen to have. Growing grass of itself improves soil; the fine grass rootlets finger between soil particles, leaving beneficial organic remains, since about half the grass rootlets die each year and are replaced by new growth. Prairie soils became black and rich because they grew grass through the ages.


Lawn grass loves fertility, but you can furnish this with a fertilizer. Roots penetrate deeper, and resist drought longer, if the soil is porous, and you can do something about this by cultivating the seedbed before planting, and by not squashing compactable soils with rolling or with heavy machinery.

If your soil is very sandy, you will have to fertilize and water more frequently than if the soil were heavier. But this is a lot easier than replacing the soil of your entire lawn.

If your lawn soil is sticky clay, it will hold fertilizer and water well, but you may have to soak such soils slowly, not run traffic over them repeatedly or try to cultivate them when wet. If a clay is so compact that it drains poorly and grass roots cannot grow deeply for lack of air, you may have to water more frequently to sustain the shallow-rooted turf. Such attentions are relatively simple, however, compared to the cost of bringing in or preparing a soil similar to that of a greenhouse potting mixture.