Should You Be Sanding Your New Orleans Lawn in May?

May 17, 2014By

Spring has sprung, and things are once more turning green and bright. That includes your lawn, or it should.

If your grass isn’t doing that well, it might be time to do some topdressing – adding a thin layer of material to your lawn to help improve drainage and grass growth .

One of the most common materials used is sand – should you be adding sand to your New Orleans lawn in May? Actually, there are some pretty compelling reasons that you shouldn’t use pure sand at all, no matter when you decide to topdress your lawn.

Where the Habit Started

Topdressing with sand started at golf courses. From there, many people have decided that since courses are able to grow beautiful, lush grass, whatever they’re doing must be the right thing. Here’s the problem – your New Orleans lawn isn’t a golf course, nor will it benefit from most sanding techniques.

Golf courses are built on sand. That means topdressing with pure sand is fine, as it doesn’t alter the characteristics of the underlying soil. Chances are good that your soil is clay, not sand. If you topdress with pure sand, you’re actually going to do more harm than good. When you mix clay and sand, you get something that very closely resembles cement. When was the last time you saw a beautiful, lush lawn growing on top of concrete?

What is sand used for?

It serves quite a few purposes, including leveling. Golf courses add sand to divots from golf clubs. Homeowners add sand to uneven areas in their yard caused by myriad different factors, including accidents, erosion, driving on the grass and more. However, don’t assume that because a golf course can get away with pure sand application, that it will do wonders for your yard.

The Problems with Pure Sand

Applying pure sand can be done in several ways. It can be applied after aeration – the thought is that it will fill in the holes from the aerator and ensure better drainage and air penetration into the soil. It can also be applied in bulk to low spots after the removal of grass and/or soil above the depression.

Here’s the problem. Adding sand to non-sandy soils creates more problems than it solves. In fact, adding it to clay type soils like those found around New Orleans can actually block water drainage and airflow into your soil. While your yard might be level, your grass won’t grow, and you’ll have to take additional steps afterward.

The Right Mix Is Key

There’s a kernel of truth to the lawn sanding myth – when used in conjunction with other elements, sand DOES help your lawn by offering better drainage and better airflow. However, you have to have the right mix. Rather than using pure sand, you should use a mixture of fine sand, compost or topsoil, grass seed and fertilizer. This mix ensures that you’re solving the underlying problem (the low spot, divot or hole), but also providing your lawn with what it needs to grow healthier and greener , while avoiding the problem of turning clay-based soil into cement.

Let the Experts Help

Sanding your lawn can be a tough process, particularly if you’re not entirely sure you have the ideal mixture of sand and other materials. It’s also a lot of work. Whether you’re not sure you’ve got the know how, or you simply lack the time to do the job right, Fischer Environmental can help. Our experts know how to sand New Orleans lawns for perfect leveling and ideal grass growth , without the problems stemming from mixing clay soil with sand. Call us at 800-391-2565.

Sources:

http://homeguides.sfgate.com/sand-lawn-48869.html

http://www.smilinggardener.com/organic-gardening-tips/lawn-top-dressing

Filed in: Sanding Lawn