The best topsoil for lawns is simply achieved by following an organic fertilizing program. Chemical pesticide applications ruin soil structure. Your grass will achieve stronger roots by changing lawn care habits.
Healthy loam is attainable even if your grass is already established. You may think your soil is bad but there are ways how to fix topsoil for lawns by topdressing.
How to have the best soil starts by knowing a little bit about the subject. Even if you already have nice loam, knowledge of the soil food web will keep your grass looking great for years to come.
How To Have the Best Topsoil for Lawns:
- Topdressing with compost
- Apply compost tea
- Organic fertilizer applications
- Aerate while applying all three
About Lawn Soil
The sun is shining and like all of us, plants and topsoil relish in it. Through photosynthesis, carbohydrates and proteins are carried throughout the grass plant and then get secreted out through the roots as exudates.
Those exudates attract bacteria and fungi, which live in organic soil.
As the plant roots grow the excess root tissue along with organic matter feed bacteria and fungi. All of this fun stuff happens in about a 1/10 of an inch surrounding the roots called the rhizosphere.
What happy days these must be for the bacteria and fungi with all that free food in the topsoil for lawns. If only life was that simple. Unfortunately for them, everything in nature has a predator. Theirs in this case, would be bigger microbes called protozoa and nematodes.
They eat the bacteria along with the fungi and what they excrete, is taken up by the plant as nutrients. Pretty simple way to feed the lawn isn’t it. The lawn gets its nutrients without any help from the fertilizer spreader.
It’s even more amazing when you realize there are billions of microbes in just a tiny amount of the best topsoil.
Microbes Live in Healthy Organic Soil
The kill or be killed saga continues in lawn soil. Protozoa and nematodes are then eaten by arthropods, which are like insects and spiders and they in turn are eaten by each other or larger arthropods along with birds, snakes or other animals. All this decaying and excretion feeds the grass plant.
This whole process we’ve been talking about is called the soil food web. All the members of this web are continuously looking for carbon to consume which is what microbes, insects and organic matter are all made from. How to have the best topsoil for lawns is by having the maximum of healthy biology living in the lawn soil.
Grass plants Need Organic Topsoil Nutrients
The plants controls what kind and how many exudates based on its needs. The soil food web is an amazing source of nutrition for our lawns but it also has many other functions as well.
It cycles minerals and nutrients, decomposes organic matter and enables good structure.
So you can see why it is important to our lawns health. Just as important to know is that continued use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides severely disrupt the soil food web.
That’s why the chemicals have to be applied several times a year to keep grass green. The turf doesn’t have it’s natural food source needs any longer. The organic soil needs to be replenished by some source in order to maintain healthy turf.
Your grass is dependent on the chemicals. Yes, your lawn’s addicted to the fertilizers at this point.
So not only are the chemicals hurting the food source for the plants it’s also ruining the organic structure of the loam.
Healthy Topsoil for Lawns need:
- 25% air
- 25% water
- 45% mineral
- 5% organic matter
Good Topsoil for Lawns Has a Large Earthworm Population
You know when you grab a handful of good topsoil for lawns it forms a ball. That’s why it’s able to do that. So while the “eating each other” frenzy continues, earthworms and all the other participants create small tunnels allowing air, water and nutrients to pass through the lawn soil. Aggregates are very important to the health of grass and it’s root system.
You see with these tunnels the rain soaks in and pushes all the stale air out allowing fresh, clean air to circulate back in, creating an aerobic healthy environment.
Using synthetic fertilizers disrupt that whole process. If you were an earthworm would you stay around if someone dumped salt and petroleum by-products on you on a regular bases? How can you improve and have the best topsoil for lawns?
Healthy soil and earthworms are not only important in organic lawn care, it is critical in any gardening.
Soil Texture for Lawns
Texture is the percentage of:
If one type dominates, the lawn soil it is considered as that. Say a clay loam or a sandy loam or just sandy.
A good way to find out what type of topsoil for lawns you have is to give what is called the ribbon test. Take a bit of the loam between your fingers and wet it. Now try to work it between your forefinger and thumb. If it falls off right away it is probably on the sandy side. An inch would be silt.
Two or more inches would constitute clay. A ribbon test is easy and can be done by anyone. It gives you a good indication of how well your topsoil for lawns is doing.
Why is this important?
Soil texture pertains how well it will retain water and the nutrients you apply. For example, sandy loam needs lighter more frequent applications of water and nutrients than say that of clay loam. It just simply doesn’t have the ability to retain it needs.
At the same time some adjustments such as adding lime to raise pH will move quicker in sandy topsoil than that of clay. Hopefully, your lucky enough to have a nice mixture of sand, silt and clay because you can’t change soil texture.
But you can influence even the best topsoil for lawns by using an organic program.