If you are putting in a lawn for the first time, you may be wondering what the best sod for clay soil is.
Different varieties of grass do better with different types of soil. Read on to find out the best varieties for the clay soil common in northern Utah.
What is Clay Soil?
Soils are often classified by the size of particles and amount of organic material. This ranges from gravels and sands, which have larger particles, to silt and clay, which have fine particles. The difference in particle size has a significant effect on the way soil absorbs and retains moisture. Where water in sand drains quickly, clay soil can retain much more water.
At the same time, the small particles in clay soil are dense and compact, making it difficult for some plants to absorb water and grow deep roots. The ideal soil for gardening is referred to as a sandy loam, which has the best of all properties: some larger particles for even drainage, plenty of organic material, and some denser particles for good structure and moisture retention, as well as minerals.
How Do I Know If I Have Clay Soil?
You can easily test your soil to find out which type you have. One quick way to tell is by scooping a half-cup of soil, adding a few drops of water, and creating a ball with your hand. If the ball breaks at two inches or more, you have clay soil.
A more accurate way to find out your soil type is to have it tested with a soil testing kit or in a lab. Your local county extension will usually provide this service, and give you detailed results for the soil structure and type. You can then add the right treatments to your soil to improve drainage and compaction.
Which Type of Grass is Best?
The best sod for clay soil will need to have a strong root system. Strong roots help grass grow deeper, helping it find adequate moisture and survive the hot, dry heat of a Utah summer. Another factor to consider with clay soil is that while it does hold more moisture, too much water can drown some types of grass.
The best grass for a clay soil, then, is one that has a hardy root system, and can also handle more water retention. Some common varieties that fit the bill are tall fescue, buffalo grass, and Kentucky Bluegrass. Lawns with a single variety, such as Kentucky Bluegrass, are common, but a blend of grasses can provide more softness or drought tolerance.
Ask the Experts
Need help determining which sod for clay soil is best for your yard? Contact Monarch Sod today. We serve Utah, Davis, and Salt Lake counties, and will help you get the lush green lawn you want.