Very bad soil.

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  #1  
Old 08-10-13, 02:37 PM
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Very bad soil.

I rototilled a large section of my lawn because it was all weeds. I plan on using grass seed. After the rototilling, I noticed the soil was super powdery dry. It looks to be a lighter color like there is little nutrition for grass to grow.

The best way to fix this would be to buy lots of black dirt, however, it is too expensive for the amount that is needed. I will get some black dirt though.

So my question is if there is any organic additive for soil that could help the soil from being so powdery and fine....peat moss maybe?

Thank you,

Nancy
 
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  #2  
Old 08-10-13, 02:44 PM
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Organic material such as well cooked manure is a best start. Would be cheaper if you just get a pickup load somewhere. It has to be well composted though, otherwise you'll get a ton of weed seeds.

Peat takes a long time to break down, but does help with water retention if needed.
 
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Old 08-10-13, 03:03 PM
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Thanks for the fast reply. I might just buy a couple 50lb bags of sphagnum moss. It seems easier.

Nancy
 
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Old 08-10-13, 03:20 PM
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I know it seems easier...but it's not a good organic enhancement. It has it's uses...but a nutritional soil enhancement for grass isn't one of them.
 
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Old 08-10-13, 07:12 PM
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Why not use Sphagnum Moss?

Why isn't the moss ok to use? The soil is very powdery and fine. It is so hard to describe and I bet no one ever has seen this consistency before. It is very dry too and almost repels water. I was hoping to change that with the peat or sphagnum moss. May I ask what you would use?

Anything but manure because that is too icky for me.

Nancy
 
  #6  
Old 08-11-13, 03:17 AM
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I'd bet dried manure isn't as 'icky' as you are imagining

My yard is on top of a tall slate rock hill. My top soil is maybe 1/2" thick. Fertilizing every yr is the only way I can keep my yard green .... and I don't try to get rid of the weeds I've been plowing up my garden a couple of times every yr and have brought in manure, compost and top soil from time to time. After 22 yrs it's starting to look like real dirt
 
  #7  
Old 08-11-13, 04:56 AM
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I'm in exactly the same situation. We live on the coast of Lake Huron and I'm sure half a million years ago, where we live was covered by the lake as our back yard is fine sand at least 4' down. At some point in this property's history, some bozo was short on cash and had our HUGE backyard skimmed of the top soil that was there which he sold.

Basically, we have fine sand. For the most part the only thing that will grow is weeds. Having 2 very active dogs.... The weeds hold up better to the punishment than grass ever would. At least it looks green from the deck!

Mark, it took 22yrs? Wow. After 4 years of adding manure, compost, etc. our garden is slowly coming around. From the looks of things this year, we'll have about a billion tomatoes to prove it!
 
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Old 08-11-13, 05:04 AM
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Bill, the difference is I started out with rock and am trying to turn it into soil. Slate decomposes somewhat so repeated plowing helps. Fortifying dirt should be a lot easier than converting rock to dirt
I really should plow up my yard but I don't really want to start over. Except for the squash, my garden hasn't done well this year - too much rain!
 
  #9  
Old 08-11-13, 11:00 AM
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The best description of my soil is cement mix with a light brown tint to it.

I have a large compost bin, however, all the dirt was used up on other parts of the yard in the early spring time.

Maybe I'll force myself to work with the manure.

Nancy
 
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Old 08-11-13, 11:17 AM
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Growing up in farm country...I love the smell of it. It's really no different than regular compost. We aren't talking about fresh from the source. It's been cooked and dried. Of course it might be a little wet from being stored in the bags outside.
 
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Old 08-12-13, 03:29 AM
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I love the smell of it.
Me too!!! but mainly because it lets me know I'm not in town

Locally we have some outlets that sell compost ...... but it's not like home made composts, more of a cross between mulch and compost. It works well as mulch in my garden because it decomposes before I plant again the next year. Not sure how well it would work in for a lawn. I still think mixing in some manure is your best bet.
 
  #12  
Old 08-12-13, 05:07 AM
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Nancy, I live and work in the twin cities so I know the soil you are working with. Around St. Paul there are a few city yard debris drop off sites that you may be able to get come compost for free. Call the city to find out there they are.

Introducing organic matter is the best way to amend the soil. Using manure would also be good except for the introduction of weeds. I use manure from our horses all the time but do have to pull weeds in the garden. If you check craigslist you might find somebody close to you giving it away for free.
 
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