Soil amendments lots of questions.

Bermuda, St. Augustine, Zoysia, Centipede, Bahia, Paspalum, etc
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jtyrie
Posts: 109
Joined: May 22nd, 2010, 3:39 pm
Location: Prosper, TX
Grass Type: Hybrid Bermuda
Lawn Size: 5000-10000
Level: Experienced

Soil amendments lots of questions.

Post by jtyrie » September 28th, 2020, 11:36 am

This was my first summer in my home. I have no top soil whatsoever. The Bermuda is growing in a clay-like soil that is rock hard and drains like my driveway. I've been trying to put some life in my soil this summer, although I started kind of late. I have put one application of Scott's Foundation, which contains BioChar. I have another application that will go down in a week or so. I have also been spraying the Soil Conditioner/Kelp Help about every three weeks.

It's starting to cool off in DFW. My Bermuda growth has slowed down considerably. Am I too late to put down some compost? I'm not expecting immediate improvement so it doesn't seem like it would make a difference when I put it down. Plus it would have all winter to complete its composting cycle if it is still a little green. Also, is aerating a must if I put down the compost? I like to do everything myself but I have a physical limitation and last time I used an aerator, it about beat me to death. I guess I'd pay someone to aerate if I have to.

I have some leveling issues too. I had to raise my rotary mower at this house to keep from scalping and creating crop circles. I plan to start leveling next spring and using top soil or a mixture of sand and top soil to level. I can't believe my home is seven years old and the previous owners have put up with this moon scape.

Am I on the right track? Any suggestions? I know I could rip out this lawn and have top soil trucked in and then resodded I don't really want to spend that kind of dough all at once plus I get a lot of satisfaction out of doing it myself. I should have had a soil test done right after I moved in. I have the dirt collected but haven't sent it in yet.

At my old home, I used Milorganite more as a supplementary fertilizer than an amendment. It is a manure product and manure is often mentioned as a good amendment. Will that help my soil? Should I wait until the lawn is actively growing again until I use it, since it does contain some nitrogen?

Any suggestions will be appreciated.

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andy10917
Posts: 29116
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 10:48 pm
Location: NY (Lower Hudson Valley)
Grass Type: Emblem KBG (Front); Blueberry KBG Monostand (Back)
Lawn Size: 1 acre-2 acre
Level: Advanced

Re: Soil amendments lots of questions.

Post by andy10917 » September 28th, 2020, 6:35 pm

Since you're in the DFW area, it's pretty likely that your soil is calcareous. Make sure to request that the test(s) be run with Ammonium Acetate, so you don't get my least-favorite line of "do you want me to take an educated guess, or would you rather pay for another test?". I *hate sending that message.

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