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Lawn & Garden

Amending your soil for a lawn

I am putting in a new lawn in a home we just built. The area that will be in lawn is approximately a 1/2 acre. The soil is hard and need to be amended. What would you suggest to amend it with that is not going to break the bank? 
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Posted 2018-03-07T18:42:42+0000  by Jonsie Jonsie
Howdy Jonsie,

As you know, amending soil is simply adding organic matter and other material to soil to keep it from being too compact or too porous. 


I have used; perlite, vermiculite, spagnum peat moss, gypsum, and even sand. For an area that is as large as a half acre I would recommend using sand. The amount to use is 1 bag per 14 cubic feet.  The math should work something like this; half an acre in square feet is 21,780. If we divide 21,780 feet by 14 we get 1,555.71429 (we'll round it off to 1,555). 


I would recommend renting a rototiller to mix the sand into the soil to save time and your back. Next I would spread the sand over the 1/2 acre. Lastly I would use the rototiller to break up the ground and mix the sand into the soil.

If you would like more information about planting a lawn just ask.

happy growing,
Coach Dave
Posted 2018-03-08T20:45:27+0000  by Dave_HD_OC

Hi Jonsie.

Although sand will help in creating better drainage for your soil, it does not contain any nutrients to help your lawn grow and stay healthy.


Along with the application of sand, I would also add a good garden soil such as Kellogg Garden Soil.  This is a coarse soil mix that will blend well into your clay soil, plus it is organic and weed free.  This soil only available in a 3 cubic foot bag.


Check with your local Home Depot in Redmond on 300 NW Quince Ave.97756, phone number 541-516-3990.  

You can call the Service Desk for more information about bulk soils which may be less expensive.  A Steer manure will probably be the least expensive but it will contain many weed seeds.  A better quality compost will cost more but it will have far fewer weed seeds.


Depending on how dense your clay soil is, you may have to make a few passes with the rototiller and the soil amendment mixes to attain a good mix.  You will want to set the rototiller to a depth of about 4-6 inches before spreading a good organic compost/soil over the ground 2-4 inches deep.


You will need about 67 cubic yards of bulk compost per inch to cover your ½-acre lawn area.  At least two inches of bulk compost is recommended along with one inch of sand.

When you rent the rototiller, be sure it is the heavy-duty one for your 1/2 acre area.  This is a large project, but if you can do this labor-intensive soil amending yourself, you will save yourself a lot of money.  Unfortunately, there are no Home Depot Tool Rental Stores in your area.  You will need to go to a private tool rental facility.

Please let us know if we can be of further assistance.




There are a few YouTube videos that will give you an idea of what is involved in rototilling your soil.

Posted 2018-03-09T18:56:36+0000  by Rick_HD_OC
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