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Lawns : Soil

Lawn – the perfect soil for flowers and shrubs

Lawn – the perfect soil for flowers and shrubs

A lawn needs at least 15 centimetres of good top-soil. If the quality of the soil is poor, or if there is not enough of it, the grass will always struggle in competition from moss and weeds. Grass will grow on any soil but if the soil is clayey and heavy, growth will be slow in spring and moss will have an advantage. If it is sandy, the lawn will dry out in summer and clover will be a problem.

Heavy ground should have good drainage and land drains may need to be laid before laying a lawn. Drainage should be adequate to ensure that water does not stand in pools for longer than one day at a time after heavy rain. A soggy lawn will be more difficult to mow during wet weather and will not be accessible for long periods.

In a new house garden, check that the soil has not been compacted below the surface layer. Dig a few test holes to see if the subsoil is hard and compacted. If the soil is compacted, it will be necessary to dig through the compacted layer to uncompacted subsoil below to allow rainwater to drain away. Land drains may also be necessary to aid this process.

If there is not enough soil depth, additional top-soil is well worth getting. Purchased top-soil should be checked on-site at source, before it is loaded, to confirm its suitability. Do not accept poor quality soil, heavy soil, or soil with a lot of large stones and hard clods. Also check the load before it is off-loaded to make sure it is the same as promised.

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