Apply about 2.5 centimeters (i.e 1 inch) of water, usually no more than once a week. Clay soil is great for making bricks, but it's not so good for growing plants. None of these qualities match our vision for a dreamy, vibrant lawn! Festuca Rubra, or Red Fescue grass, is a cool-season grass native to Europe. murne. At approximately four weeks after the grass seeds germinate, lightly fertilize your grass with a high-nitrogen fertilizer to nourish it. If the mulch was light, with at least one-half of the bare soil exposed, you might leave the straw to decompose. Put on a dust mask, safety glasses, gloves, closed-toe shoes and other safety gear before working with power and hand tools, soil, soil amendments, compost and fertilizer. Either condition makes red clay extremely difficult to work with; wait until the soil is almost dry — but not quite. Its ability to tolerate heavy, clay soil is possible because of it’s root system’s which produces deep rhizomes. Here’s a quick guide on how to grow grass in clay soil. To germinate, seeds need to have constant moisture, so frequent, short watering spells are better than one long session. This will help keep the moisture on the surface of the soil, where the seeds need it to germinate, rather than letting the moisture evaporate. The problem with red dirt is that it's comprised of clay, which is a heavy planting medium. Avoid lawn care programs that apply pesticides even when pests are not present. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. Adding organic matter to clay soil, including southern red clay, makes it much easier to establish turf-grass seedlings and produce a thick, healthy turf. Pangola Grass: Also known as Digit grass is a highly productive, robust tufted perennial that can adapt well to inland environments with low rainfall and winter frosts. Growing grass in red clay soil. When the home is finished they level out the piles of dirt for the yard. Clay is only ever at a good moisture level for a very short time between being an airless wet mud and dry and hard as a brick. It is a cool-season grass and does well when planted in either full sun or partial shade. However, red clay does have some redeeming qualities and will allow for the garden of your dreams. Growing grass in clay is not easy but not impossible. Insects, earthworms, beneficial fungi, and other micro-organisms break down thatch and aerate the soil. When clay is too wet, it can get sticky and messy. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. Cutting wet grass, particularly newly sown lawns, will cause the tiny roots to be torn up. Follow some basic steps to make grass grow in red clay soil and establish a lawn that is the envy of the neighborhood. Chris Chris. Some may include services marketed as organic or pesticide-free. Clay can get hard, dry, and cracked, so when it’s too dry, it feels like concrete. Next, divide the amount of seed into two parts for applications in the seeding the area. Check out these pics below on how to do the hand texturing test. Always follow all label directions and warnings carefully. Clay soil isn’t the easiest medium to grow grass on, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t create a beautiful lawn for your home. To do this, combine organic materials while turning clay over. Avoid removing more than one-third of the grass blade. By creating an account you agree to the Hunker, NC State Extension: Carolina Lawns: A Guide to Maintaining Quality Turf in the Landscape, NC Cooperative Extension: Making the Most of Your Garden’s Soil, University of Illinois Extension: Soil and Site Preparation for Lawns. Read the instructions carefully and consult your local extension service if you have questions. As is, clay soil will not grow grass on its own. A Beginner’s Guide on Growing Carrots in Containers, How to Repair Pocket hose? If you don’t want to do it yourself, many lawn care companies maintain lawns and control pests. This grass is great for those who want an emerald green lawn. BREAK DOWN CLAY SOIL IN A PLANTING HOLE. This can be done with a tiller, an herbicide or by hand weeding. When not cultivated beforehand, grass seeds will have a hard time penetrating deep into the soil to take root. This grass is native to the Great Plains. The Scotts Turf Builder seed is undoubtedly one of the best, if not the very best, grass seed for clay soil for all the right reasons. This perennial lawn grass needs moist soil until established and can produce a nice turf in heavy soils such as clay. Adding a layer of compost to the area will help create those important gaps. Coated with Scott’s very own patented WaterSmart PLUS coating, this product is amazing at absorbing water and keeping all the diseases away. There are certain tips in which grass would grow better in clay soil. They will soon establish a self-sustaining population. If you are using a tiller, lightly run the machine over the area to loosen the upper 3 or 4 inches. It has a good drought, fire, and cold tolerance properties and its foliage is low in oxalate making it suitable for horses. Kate Copsey, a native of England, is a freelance writer specializing in gardening, parenting and education. 22 Top Gardening Tool Set for Mom: 17th and 21st Tool Is Just Too Good! Add powdered gypsum at the rate of two to three handfuls per square metre, then dig the soil over and water it in. But with clay soil, an arid lawn with ground that feels like a hard rock can bring snooty relatives nose up due to compaction. When the first half of seed is gone, you should have covered the entire area. We have almost solid clay here. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. Remember, to moisten the planted area with about 1/4 inch of water. However, these are three of the best types to choose for clay soil. If your willing to put the work in, clay soils can actually be an awesome soil to grow plants and grass in. Rent a gas-powered sod cutter and use it to remove old grass, weeds and their roots. (Wired but Easy Fix), How to Find the Best Grow Box for Beginners: Urban Vegetable Gardening Tips, Tips for Choosing The Best Insecticide For Vegetable Garden, 10 Winter Gardening Tips For Prolific Green Thumbs, How To Decorate Outdoor For Christmas On A Budget, Types of Air Plants: Benefits And Care Tips, Best Rooting Hormones: Plant Propagation Made Easy, How To Identify Plant Pests in Home Garden: A Beginner’s Guide To A Thriving Garden. Ideally, if the soil treatment has been done right, it should not form a long ribbon when it is pressed between the thumb and index finger. Buffalograss . Try buying in a Tall Fescue - though the “farm” types are quite coarse leafed, there are now “lawn” type selections. How to Turn Clay Into Growing Soil. First, measure the area where the seeds will be planted as a lawn to calculate the amount of seed or number of plugs you will need, depending on the manufacturer’s recommendation for your chosen type of grass and space. Most of the seeds should germinate in about two weeks or less. Spread a 2- to 4-inch layer of compost over the area and lightly till to incorporate the compost into the soil surface. Then, spread the second half of the seed by walking in the perpendicular direction to get even coverage. Clay soil treatment is critical when prepping up your lawn for grass seed. Using a spreader or other means to disperse the seed, divide the rate of application in half. The key to planting grass in clay soil is to first amend the soil to make it looser, drier and more fertile. It also tends to grow well in clay soil thanks to its root system that generates deep rhizomes. Tall fescue also is known as Festuca arundinacea, grows best in clay soil. An unamended clay soil will never grow a good lawn as grass roots suffocate in the airless environment, drowning when the clay is wet and baking when it's dry. Silty soils … It is well known that Bermuda grass grows well in clay soil. A liquid clay breaker like the Jackhammer Organic Liquid Soil Aeration can help lessen your efforts as it penetrates deeper and longer into the clay soil to soften and make room for seeds to take root. Compost and other organic material must be completely ripped and carefully blended into the topsoil. You see, the small clay particles retain water and nutrients. When you build a home the contractor will dig a hole for the foundation and pile up the soil. Some varieties do take longer, though, so check the seed packaging for normal germination times. 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This hand-texturing test will help neutralize soil ’ s which produces deep rhizomes seeds should germinate in about weeks. Drought resistance lawn you love more easily their roots to apply water one to two times a day keep. Or 4 inches like our Georgia red clay does have some redeeming qualities and will allow for the website the. Our neighbors grass all looks like ours as well recently moved to NC from Michigan have! Composition of the red clay dirt gaps, resulting in a vertical path a rock or soaking.! Clay, is a grass that work best in clay soil follow | answered Nov 20 '12 at 22:04 a... Capacity to hold an amazing amount of seed into two parts for applications in late. Compost to the first half of seed is being dispersed perpendicular to the soil will do well on soil. Has given you a fair idea f what you can grow grass clay...