Algae in Soil - Knowledgebase Question

Oxford, Mi
Question by skmathur111
December 30, 2009
I have 20x20 sq. ft. lawn area with little or no Bermuda grass (out of 0.5 acre lawn) where a green scum forms over a moist soil surface. The green scum forms a tough, black crust when dry. The area is low, compact, generally wet soil surface and has full sunlight. I tried to reseed the area but algae do not allow any thing to grow. How to get rid of algae? Thanks.

Answer from NGA
December 30, 2009


The algae has found a moist area in which to grow. The soil is acidic and compacted and the nutrition is poor - perfect conditions for algae growth. To control it you'll need to improve the compaction to help the soil drain quickly. Start by raking out the algae infested areas. You can rent a core aerator to pull plugs from the soil, then sprinkle about a half inch of compost or sand over the area. Water from the sprinkler or rainfall will help work the compost or sand into the holes made by the aerator. This matter will help improve soil drainage. Just leave the plugs on the lawn and they will dissolve over time. The compost will add nutrients, which will encourage deeply rooted turfgrass. This spring you can overseed the area and the grass should grow well. Good luck with your project!

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