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  • Writer's pictureDarcy Morehouse

Why Your Soil (probably) Sucks

If you live in the Adirondacks, there's a good chance you have struggled to grow grass. Adirondack lawns are notoriously thin, patchy, and weedy, especially around the lakes.

There is good reason for it though.

The Adirondacks were formed by glaciers, which retreated about 10,000 years ago. So our soil is only about 10,000 years old, which is actually really young when it comes to soil. In other parts of the country the soil has been developing for millions of years, and is full of all kinds of rich organic matter. Ours is just a bunch of sterile sand.

This Adirondack Park Agency article actually has some really great info on the geology of the park, for you nerds reading this.

In fact, if you dig down a foot or so anywhere in the Adirondacks, there's a good chance you'll find a bunch of beautiful, fine, perfect, white beach sand. No wonder your lawn sucks. It's not your fault!

You have been trying to grow grass... literally... on a beach.

Fortunately we've been doing this stuff for a long time, and have learned how to do exactly that.

So, how exactly do you grow a magic lawn in this ridiculous sandy soil?

1. Aerate

Our soil is super prone to compaction, which causes all kinds of obstacles to a healthy turf. Compacted soil doesn't drain well, it doesn't hold nutrients, and the roots have no room to grow in. Aerating is a relatively inexpensive and easy way to aleviate the compaction issues and give your lawn a fighting chance.

2. Topsoil

If the soil is really bad, you may want to consider bringing in a layer of topsoil. When we're installing a new lawn we usually bring in about 3 inches of topsoil or a topsoil / compost mix.

3. Fertilize

The sandy soil under our lawns is pretty sterile, so no matter what, you'll need to bring in some sort of organic matter to give the grass something to live off of. That could be compost, fertilizer, mulching your grass clippings, or (ideally) a combination of those things.

Want to see just how we install a brand new lawn in our sucky Adirondack soil? Check out the step-by-step process for a new lawn installation.

Interested in hearing more?? Hit us up! We'd love to hear your questions, or schedule you for a free estimate to get you that beautiful lawn you've always wanted.



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