New Lawn in Subdivision - Knowledgebase Question

Simpsonville, SC
Question by Mrbojinks
March 21, 1998
We have just moved into a new subdivision and want to get our lawn started. The front lawn has full sun, the back lawn has sun to partial shade. We have medium to hard red clay, and there's a slight slope in the back yard. We think it might be best to bring in some topsoil. We are leaning toward planting fescue. What do you suggest for our area? We would like a green yard year around, but also need something to take root fast.


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Answer from NGA
March 21, 1998

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Welcome to your new home! To fulfill your dream of an ever-green lawn, you'll need to exercise some patience, since your clay soil needs a lot of work.

Your first step should be to contact the realtor who sold you the property, and see if there are any provisions in the building contract that require them to leave topsoil in place or replace topsoil that has been disturbed/removed. The clay you have left is likely very compacted due to the weight of heavy machinery used by contractors.

I suggest you begin with a soil test to determine its current status. Contact your Cooperative Extension office about soil testing. Test results will give recommendations on how to get your soil in shape to support healthy turf. Additions of compost or other organic matter along with topsoil is always a good idea. You may need to grow deep-rooted cover crops at first to break up compacted soil and add organic matter.

Your extension agent will also know which turf is best for your region. Hope this info is helpful!

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