Thin topsoil....
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Author:  Marty75228 [ Sun May 11, 2014 9:20 am ]
Post subject:  Thin topsoil....

I live in east Dallas near White Rock Lake. My back yard has so little topsoil, there are places where you can see a smooth surface of white rock. When I moved here in 2000, I had a beautiful St. Augustine back yard. I've been totally organic using molasses and Green Sense fertilizer, but 14 years later, the yard is mostly weeds and Bermuda grass that has krept in from next door. (My front yard is as beautiful as the day I came.) I think I need more soil. What do I spread over the lawn to build the top layer of soil without killing what grass I have? Topsoil? Composted Manure? Composted Cotton Burr? A Combination?

Author:  northwesterner [ Sun May 11, 2014 4:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Thin topsoil....

Have you actually looked closely at the ground, or are you just guessing that the topsoil is missing?

If things grew there before then maybe you simply need to stimulate the extant soil and gradually build it up. I'd try spreading a thin layer of compost over the area, and spread some dry molasses. That should start interacting with the existing soil and encourage healthy biological activity. Or start with a hose-end applicator and spray some Garrett juice over the area to get it started then do compost and molasses. There are probably a lot of "right answers" to this question.

Author:  Marty75228 [ Sun May 11, 2014 6:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Thin topsoil....

I spread molasses and Green Sense about every 4 months. I also aerate the soil painstakingly with a hand aerator. But like I said, there are places where you can see white rock as smooth as a table top. One year I put in a winter lawn with rye grass that I bought from Bruce Miller Nursery. That's when my weed problem began. I will put out a good layer of composted cotton burr and see if that helps. Thanks!

Author:  user_48634 [ Sun Jun 22, 2014 10:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Thin topsoil....

Interesting that your problems began when you put in winter rye. The problem with winter rye is transitioning away from it in the spring. The tall rye grass puts a lot of shade stress on the St Augustine and delays the St Aug from awakening in the spring. That gives the weeds a head start through the sparse combination of rye and St Aug.

St Aug is sensitive to going dry (bone dry) and to over watering. It can be made even more sensitive by watering daily, so you have to get this part right.

What is your watering regimen? How often and how long do you water?
How high/low do you mow?
When were the last two times you fertilized?

Also I might point out there is a lawn forum here at Dirt Doctor where you might get more opinions from the other lawn people.

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