Growing grass is never an easy prospect, and many people have several suggestions and home remedies to make grass grow. Luckily there is a science to growing grass. According to "The Garden Helper," good soil will only provide good grass if grass seed is chosen based on climate and lawn use. According to Mary Robson, area extension agent of Washington State University, climate and lawn use are important but so are seed planting times and watering. Without an appropriate soil composition though, grass will never thrive.
Sandy Loam Soils
Getting grass to grow successfully requires proper soil maintenance. "Lawn failures are often caused by poor soil conditions under the roots," reports Robson. The best soil texture for growing grass is a sandy loam. A 60 to 70 percent sand and 30 to 40 percent silt/clay soil composition will create excellent conditions for grass seed and growth. Many soil surfaces at post-construction sites are inappropriate for the growth of grass, states Robson.
Naturally Amended Soils
Robson does not recommend amending--or conditioning--heavy clay soil that does not drain well through the addition of needed components. Sand or gypsum soil amendments will not work. The use of compost, manure, straw or other organic matter soil additives will promote healthy soil ecosystems naturally. Total incorporation is recommended as clumps of organic matter will decay and cause low spots in organically amended soils.
Slightly Acidic Soils
'The Garden Helper" notes that most soils prefer a 6.0 to 7.5 pH range, and that 6.5 pH is the most preferable for grass growing. The 0-14 pH scale is measured from acidic to basic, and 7.0 is the balanced neutral measurement. Limestone is a common soil additive to decrease acidity in soil, and sulfur is commonly added to decrease alkalinity in soil. Once a soil additive is spread, tillage must occur to incorporate the added substance fully.