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When sowing a new lawn or overseeding an existing one, it’s always good idea to know what type of soil you have so you can manage it effectively and sow the right type of grass seed to grow in it!
There are three main soil types here in the UK, which are the most common in your garden. They are:
Normal / loam-type soils
find out what soil type you may have, we’ll now go into these now in more
Normal / loam-type soils
This is the best kind of soil you can hope to find in your garden, and when people use ‘top soil’, this is exactly the type of soil they are topping up their lawns with. Loam soils are a mixture of all the best things soil can offer – silt, clay and sand.
Loam-type soils retain nutrients well!
The balance of these ingredients makes loam soils easy to work with because they are great at retaining nutrients and draining. If you have loam-type soils, you can consider your soils ‘normal’ and that any grass seed you sow will grow well in the soils you have.
However, it is important to keep in mind that if you need grass seed for a particular purpose, e.g. for a busy family lawn, pets or shade – then make sure to opt for these more specialist mixes.
How do I know if I have loam soil?
A good indicator of loam soils is that they are easy to work with. When aerating your lawn or doing any repairs you’ll notice that the soil gives away easily and can be easily raked. If you take some in your hand, even if it is initially in clumps, it’ll be easy to crumble and break up.
Let’s start with the positives, shall we? Because clay soils are so dense, this often means that they are full of nutrients which help to keep the grass healthy. However, this density also means that they are very difficult to work with and are often easily compacted due to their clay nature, meaning the benefits of these nutrients don’t always pay off.
If you have clay soils, you’ll most likely know about it – your grass/lawn will be wet and boggy in winter and dry and cracked in summer. If you have a new build and have had it turfed, you’ll notice that the turf begins to fail after a few months, causing yellowing and dead grass. Again, this is because most turf is made to fit general lawn conditions and not the clay conditions you will be experiencing.
Our New Build Dream Lawn contains grass seeds such as tall fescue that are deep rooting, so they will take to your soil immediately to build a strong and resilient lawn.
With sandy soils, the benefits also, unfortunately, double up as a drawback. Because sandy soils are so free draining, they dry out incredibly quickly and don’t retain nutrients very well. Keeping sandy soils watered can become an issue when sowing grass seed, as moisture is the first requirement when establishing new grass.
Sandy soils require a 100% fescue mix to create a successful lawn, as they are well known for being drought tolerant. Coincidentally, they are a much finer grass species, so you can mow them low to create statement stripes!
do I know if I have sandy soils?
This one is nice and simple. If you pick up some of your soil, it will run seamlessly through your fingers like sand, which is fine. If this is happening to you, you have sandy soils!
Sandy soils dry much quicker than other soils!
You will also notice that after watering your lawn, it seems to be dry again within the hour. As sandy soils are easy to work with, the only real issue you need to worry about is the lack of moisture and nutrients. The best way to combat this is with a 100% fescue mix like our Super Fine Luxury Lawn, and by feeding it regularly.
Now that you know what type of soil you have and what grass seed you need, make sure to check out our guide on how to sow grass seed!