swandering
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed May 02, 2012 4:46 pm

Where do I start?

Frustrated with my lawn. I have a new house and the sod in my backyard was put in 3 summers ago. It has been getting worse each spring, but will generally come back by July. I am in CO and it doesn't appear that the contractor laid down any soil, just rolled out sod over the clay. My backyard is on the north side, but does get some sun. Here r some pix:

Yard pic 1: [url]https://franux.com/backyard2.jpg[/url]

Yard pic 2: [url]https://franux.com/backyard4.jpg[/url]

As you can see there is also an issue near the back sprinkler. It isn't leaking, there's just nowhere for the water to go, hence the algae. My thoughts:
1) Rip up the yard and remove 6-8" of sod and clay underneath it
2) Put down new soil and compost
3) Resod or reseed

Does this sound right or a waste of time?

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tomf
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Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 12:15 pm
Location: Oregon

Yes; think you are on the right track. I would add; get some sand and compost then till it into the clay. You can rent a rototiller, the rear end tine ones are not so hard on your body.

swandering
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed May 02, 2012 4:46 pm

Thanks Tom

One more thing - I was told not to mix the clay with sand, as it will most likely turn to cement?

Would taking some soil samples to the Master gardener folks be worth the effort?

Thanks again!

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tomf
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Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 12:15 pm
Location: Oregon

It must be solid clay. I understand if you add sand it needs to be sharp sand, soft sand is not good as it will make it worse. I have a lot of clay in my garden and used a mix of sand, compost and soil, it worked very well. You could till in compost as the more organics the better. I get a big truck load of what I get and this may over come some of the issues.

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Kisal
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Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:04 am
Location: Oregon

If you have the kind of clay I have in my yard, it will, indeed, become cement if you mix sand with it. That happened in the area I fenced as a run for my dogs. The stuff is like solid rock in there. :(

I suggest you add some gypsum and maybe some perlite to lighten the clay. I've done that on the recommendation of a nurseryman I know, and it worked beautifully. Most garden centers sell bags of gypsum specifically for the purpose of lightening clay soil. :)
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

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