The definition of a soil amendment – An element added to the soil to improve its capacity to support plant life.
If your lawn struggled last season, this is a good time of year to dig a little deeper. Looking closely at your soil is a good place to start. Inspecting your soil structure, pH, and nutrient make up are important factors that can be measured in soil testing, Your Lawn Coach can decipher your test results and perhaps answer the riddle of why your lawn struggled last year. A few of the most common answers we find are:
- Gypsum – Heavy clay soils, such as soils in Kansas City, typically benefit from this old time soil amendment. While gypsum is not a fertilizer, it can make fertilizers more effective. Heavy clay particles can hold on to nutrients so tightly that the plant can’t pull them away to use. The calcium in gypsum knocks nutrients (like iron) off the clay to make them more available for the plants to access.
- Lime – Acidic soils, many of which can be found in Prairie Village, Old Leawood, and Mission Hills, where the streets are lined with pin oaks can benefit from this amendment. All of the debris that falls from these trees can be acidic. When your soil isn’t in balance it is difficult for plant to get the proper nutrients.
- Compost – New construction areas where they scrape off the topsoil to grade the lawn have very poor structure and are like a brick. These type of soils are completely lacking in organic matter and have no ability to hold air and water. Some time heavy shade lawns can have low organic matter because the grass is thin and we take the leaves off each fall. Compost applications can help improve the structure of the soil and allow it to hold more air and water.
- Aeration– In compacted areas there is no water or air holding capacity and it is very difficult to get plant to root. This is mainly caused by repeated traffic or left over from construction. Aeration is the only physical way we have to loosen the soil that doesn’t completely demolish it and is a good practice every year.
Why Soil Amendments?
Heritage’s EcoPride program believes that it’s not always about adding fertilizer’s and spraying weeds. If that is all you are doing you are only treating the symptoms and not the problem. Instead, taking steps to build your soil up and correct why you have the problem in the first place is the only way to get out of the traditional lawn company mind set of “See the Weed Spray the Weed and Repeat.”
Click here to schedule your soil test today!