Starting with a strong foundation is the most important step when you are building a house, building a retaining wall and even when growing a lawn. Soil Samples are the first step in building that strong foundation. Here in Oregon throwing seed down on a smoothed surface in the spring or fall is easy and the grass will grow but if the proper steps are not done there can be problems down the road. These problems will be more of a headache and more costly than if they were addressed at the beginning of the growing process. Most of the time the steps that need to be taken to create a good soil foundation will not slow the overall process down if anything it could speed up the initial growth of the grass.
Having us do a soil sample is the easiest and most accurate way to find out what condition you soil. Here is the soil sample I took from my house:
With this outcome I had the choice to put down 187 pounds of lime and till it into the ground or through aeration I could apply the 187 pounds over a few services. The first option is the fastest but you do have to re-seed your lawn, whereas with the second option there is less damage done to your lawn and we can slowly make adjustments. Along with the soil adjustments it is good to be on a fertilization program.
If you are wondering if your soil is in need of an adjustment there are a few signs that may be indications. Like in the last blog Red Thread, if continued to be a problem after starting fertilizer program you might want to do a soil sample. Clay soils are a problem here too, we all know what they cause but that does not mean you have to dig it out, ship it out and bring on new soil. Simply adding nutrients to these soils will help your grass grow healthier. Lastly if you have many types of grass and/or moss in your lawn this could be a sign, which I will continue talking about next time.