How to renovate your lawn’s existing soil
Many of my clients have been asking me how to improve their existing poor, tired soil.
October is the perfect time to do this. I would suggest aerating your lawn and bringing in Cedar Grove's original compost product. This is available by the bag or by the truckload.
After aeration, rake this material into the aeration holes. When the compost breaks down, it will actually help to change your soil profile.
Whether your lawn is newer or older, you may experience the same types of problems. Older lawns have been bombarded with foot traffic, mowing and other compaction issues. Houses built in the last 20 years have heavier soil compaction because of bulldozers, backhoes and big lifts used in the construction process.
Most newly constructed properties have little or no soil preparation. In new construction, the lawn is graded (all soil scraped and taken away) then covered again with 1 or 2 inches of soil. If you live on a property like this, add compost annually and aerate your lawn twice a year, then rake fine compost into the aeration holes.
The best way to spread compost is by using a peat moss roller. I strongly recommend renting a peat moss roller from a rental yard. Not to be confused with a drum that you put water into for site compaction, a peat moss roller is light and easy to transport.
Peat moss roller rental is about $15 a day. The roller itself is made of expanded diamond-cut metal, which has many openings to equally distribute the compost. The quality of this method is unattainable by hand spreading. The compost should be spread no thicker than ¼- to ½-inch thick.
If you are in the Seattle area, you can order this compost through Walt's Organics.
By bringing in organic compost and raking it into the holes, your soil can be improved. When the compost breaks down, organic matter is then introduced to the clay to nourish and enrich the soil, which then encourages worms and strong root growth.
Stewart Armour is the owner and operator of Aerating Thatching Co. in Seattle. Armour has extensive education in turf management in Western Washington. The first turf class he attended was Golf Course Construction and Design in 1981, taught by Jerry Mackie at Bellevue Community College. In 1994, he majored in turf management at South Seattle Community College. After several years, he advanced to Clover Park Technical College and studied under a local golf course superintendent, John Ford.
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