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How to Create Healthy Soil for a Thriving Lawn and Garden

What’s at the root of a beautiful lawn? Quite literally, healthy soil. It’s that soil that feeds your Atlanta lawn and nurtures your beautiful plants. Like humans, plants require an array of nutrients to stay healthy. Nutrient deficiencies can make otherwise healthy turf more susceptible to damage from insects and diseases.  There are a variety of ways you can ensure your lawn and garden are getting the nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium they need to thrive.

How to Determine Your Soil’s Health:

Healthy soils are typically a balance of clay, sand, and silt. Even the briefest encounter with Atlanta soil reveals that it is mostly composed of clay. Hard clay soil can be a blessing and a curse since it’s high in nutrients but slow to drain water. A lush lawn begins with a pH test of your soil to see how acidic or alkaline it is. Arbor-Nomics offers this service, or you can conduct a test yourself with kits available at home improvement retailers. The results will also reveal the soil type and nutrient levels. Once you and your Certified Landscape Technician understand these results, you’ll be better equipped to achieve the healthy lawn you desire. 

Establish and Maintain Healthy Soil:

If the acidity and alkalinity of your soil are out of balance, lime, sulfur, and fertilizers can help bring them back into equilibrium. Once you and your Certified Landscape Technician have established an Atlanta lawncare regimen with proper fertilization, here are some additional steps you can take to help deliver essential nutrients to your soil.

  • Lawn Soil: Fertilization may be a quick, effective way to create the healthy soil you desire, but fertilization alone may not be enough. Proper watering, at least an inch weekly, is essential. Your soil also needs air, so annual aeration for warm-season turf like Bermuda and Zoysia or aeration and overseeding for cool-season lawns like Fescue will help reduce soil compaction and allow nutrients to spread more readily. Additionally, you can boost your soil’s health by leaving your clippings on the lawn after you mow, as they contain vital nutrients that will help fertilize your soil.
  • Garden Soil: Like your lawn, your garden soil also benefits from fertilization. Spreading compost and other organic mulches are great ways to deliver a variety of micronutrients to your garden beds. While some organic mulch options like grass clippings or leaves may not be the most attractive, they offer a convenient alternative to help your plants as they decompose into soil-enhancing organic matter. 

If you’ve been struggling to achieve the gorgeous lawn and garden you’ve dreamed of, perhaps the problem is underneath the surface. Soil tests are a great initial step for your Atlanta lawn care if you’re seeing issues with your turf. They may provide just the answers you need to finally have your dream lawn.

photo credit: http://regenerationinternational.org/2015/10/08/emerging-land-use-practices-rapidly-increase-soil-organic-matter/