Problems with Sandy Soil
Newly Built Homes with Lawn Issues
Have you just moved into a newly built home and your grass is not looking as good as it should? There is a reason.
New subdivisions are often created on top of existing sandy soil. If no topsoil is added to the ground before the sod is installed, the grass will not thrive. We all know grass needs nutrients to grow …but a healthy soil profile containing rich, organic matter is equally important. Just adding fertilizer to the lawn will not help… unless there is healthy soil below.
Soils that are gray or sandy colored generally contain less organic matter and you need to add topsoil.
Don’t add too much at one time, make sure you can still see grass blades through the soil. This process is called top dressing and needs to be done every 3 to six months… until you see results.
Once your new turf is established, give us a call and we will gladly come out and recommend a lawn care program for you.
Erin Harlow, Horticulture Agent III at Columbia County Extension Office, wrote an article in the November/December 2021 issue of Pest Pro Magazine that addresses Florida soil and the amendments that can be made to improve the plant nutrition uptake.
Read the full article in Pest Pro Magazine.
Soils in Your Landscape
Soil is rarely uniform throughout a landscape. To understand the soil on your accounts, you should understand the common soil texture in your area, the amount of organic matter in the soil, the soil compaction or bulk density, and how all of these factors may influence the health of plants.
Soil is divided into three categories depending on the size of the particle: sand, silt or clay. The percentage of each in your soil will determine what type of soil is on your site. The composition of the soil also influences factors such as water retention and how it moves in your landscape.
Most Florida soil is sand, but the panhandle of Florida has more clay layers. The larger the particle size, the larger the pore space, which means that water can flow through these spaces faster. For your plants, this means that water may move out of the root zone quickly, requiring more supplemental irrigation.
Florida soils tend to have low organic matter — less than 4 percent. Organic matter plays a huge role in soil health. Improving the amount of organic matter in your soil can increase the potential for nutrient uptake by your plants (cation exchange capacity), increase the porosity of the soil, provide food for microbes, bind pollutants, and reduce compaction. Most labs that test for soil nutrients can test for organic matter, including the University of Florida Extension Soil Testing Laboratory Soil compaction is another factor that can influence plant health.