Clay Lawn Soil - Knowledgebase Question

birmingham, Al
Question by dhlhmm
November 4, 2009
I have a bermuda grass lawn. The soil is clay. Should I aerate the soil once per year in the spring? Spring and Fall? Is there a best fertilizer formulation for clay type soils for better plant absorption?

I live in upper Alabama

Answer from NGA
November 4, 2009


Normally, you only need to lime once every 3 years, and testing the soil's pH level each year will tell you how the lime is doing. Clay soils tend to be acidic and adding lime will help mellow or raise the soil's pH. If you need to add lime, fall is the time to do it. Aerating the soil is helpful if the soil is compacted (which clayey soils tend to be). You can aerate in either spring or fall. A core aerator will remove one inch by three inch plugs from the lawn. Leave the plugs on the lawn and they will dissolve in rain or water from the sprinklers. After aerating spread a thin layer of sand or compost over the area and water it in well. The sand or compost plus the soil from the plugs will work their way down into the holes left by the plugs and loosen up the soil. Best wishes with your lawn!

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