Your Soil Type Is The Key To Good Grass Seed Germination
Do you know your soil type? Most people don’t, or if they do, classify it poorly. Yet, if you are trying to grow grass, you need to know how to treat that soil if you want your grass seed to germinate and grow. Poor care is the primary reason why gardeners can’t grow a good lawn.
There are three basic soil types:
- Sand is the type of soil that will freely run through your fingers. Even when wet, it will not form a solid ball when a handful is squeezed in your hands. Sand allows for easy root growth but has a very poor hydration factor.
- Clay is the exact opposite of sand. When damp, a handful squeezed in your hand will form a solid ball. Clay soils can be difficult to work with. After a prolonged dry spell they will bake into solid masses. A little water will simply wash away and not penetrate too deeply. It often requires a good soaking to bring a clay soil back to life. It does, however, hang onto that water for a longer period of time. Because clay is sticky, roots can struggle to penetrate to any great depth.
- Not surprising, loam is a mix of sand and clay. When a handful is squeezed together, it will form a ball. However, the ‘stickiness’ of that ball is determine by how much clay is in the mix. A good loam mix will retain water while allowing for good root growth.
The most common soil type is loam – the differences being the balance between clay and sand. Different plant types prefer different loam types – grass is no exception. If your soil is a little sandy, add some clay. Likewise, if your soil has too much clay, add some soil. Wouldn’t it be nice if it was that easy?
There are commercial products around that will help to build your soil into a good loam. The addition of sand, composted plant material and gypsum can help build up a clay soil while, again, the addition of composted plant material and clay can help build your sand base up to a good loam.
If you don’t intend changing your soil structure then it is very important to buy grass varieties that are suited to your soil. Get the wrong grass variety and your seed germination rate will be low and your lawn almost non-existent. Learn about your soil before considering a grass type.