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Compacted soil and worn down grass  RSS feed

 
                                        
Posts: 5
Location: south central Massachusetts
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Hey, I'm new here and I think I'm going to love this site!!

The soil in my front yard has become packed down and the grass has worn away from the center area of it from children playing (I have a home daycare) and also from 3 dogs running and playing on it. Two of the dogs are golden retrievers that are 5 and 9 mo old so they have not yet learned that there is no digging allowed    . LOL
I am planning on fencing off the area without the grass and I would like to get some grass growing on it. I've seen your other references to an organic fertilizer called Ringer, which I'm going to check into, but will I also need to lime the rest of the lawn before I overseed it or will the fertilizer be enough?

Also, (I live in New England) is there any type of grass seed which will do better with the conditions at my house. The lawn was planted aprrox 50 yrs ago and it's basically been mowed and nothing else has been done because it has been O.K. until the past few years.

I should also mention that there is a large Oak tree at the edge of my property and I have also noticed that I have a type of little wild strawberry plants which have invaded my lawn over the years from my neighbors yard. Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated.
Cathy
 
paul wheaton
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Posts: 21474
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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You need to add organic matter!  The more you have, the better the turf will be able to deal with all the traffic.

Plant tall fescue.  It will be super tough!

Lime is supposed to raise the pH of your soil and add calcium.  If your pH is too high already, it would be a bad idea to add lime (plus, not exactly cheap and lazy!).  Test your pH first!

Strawberries like an acidic soil, so your soil probably could use some lime!
 
                                        
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Location: south central Massachusetts
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Thanks for the help. I'm going to give it a try. When you say "organic matter" are you talking about compost? I have access to aged horse manure and I also have chicken manure that is mixed with pine shavings. Maybe I'll look into one of those tumbling composters. For now I'm going to try the fertilizer that I saw that you recommended in another post and also areate (sp?) the soil.
Cathy
 
paul wheaton
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Posts: 21474
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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I tend to avoid pine shavings.  The tanins in pine tend to make most plant live miserable.

The aged horse manure should be pretty good. 

Getting good organic matter can be really hard.  Ten times harder if you are an organic nut and have collected knowledge about where the toxic gick can work its way into your life.  For example:  most horses eat grass that has been treated with herbices that can do their herbicide trick after it has passed through the horse.  It will make your lawn happy (the herbicides are designed to kill broadleaf plants so they won't compete with the grass) at a cost of toxicity - plus, in some cases, a garden might not be able to grow for years and years.  And then there is the worm medicine that most horses are given monthly - it also kills earthworms and other things living in rich soil. 

One of those ignorance-is-bliss sort of things I guess ...

 
                                        
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Location: south central Massachusetts
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My brother owns a riding stable ( he keeps some of them in my pasture also) and his horses are in pastures that aren't treated with chemicals at all. I know that he worms his horses but not sure how often. I never thought about that affecting the manure.

A little story about the smell of horse manure. My neighbor does not like the smell of the thawing horse manure in March (I think that is the way March should smell  :roll. Also, one of my daycare customers (I run a small home daycare) would come in and say, "Cathy! That manure stinks!" but she would be laughing as she said it. One day I needed to have my gas stove fixed and when the repair man came he told me he loved the smell of my yard and he gave me a discount on the repair because the manure smell reminded him of his grandmother.  I see that you have pigs and we had a pig farm in town years ago and that smell would carry for miles on a breezy day .
I have heard, though, that if you feed pigs quality food instead of garbage the maure doesn't smell. Is this true?
Cathy
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 21474
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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