Tuesday, January 29, 2013

My Lawn Isn't Thriving

The first few year we lived in our Charleston, SC house both my backyard and front yard both did pretty well. Since Centipede grass doesn't like to be fussed over I just check the PH every couple of years and applied 15-0-15 lightly as suggested by my soil report from Clemson Extension. Then about 3 years ago the front yard began to thin and just didn't recover from winter as quickly as before.

I know from planting trees when we first moved into our home that the front yard was mostly clay. I've amended my flowerbeds over the years and the plant there do rather well. I wondered what I could do without digging up the lawn and starting over. I asked several Master Gardeners and Extension Agents for some ideas and came up with a plan.

While my warm-season lawn was dormant I spread a light layer of compost over the yard. This was purchased at a local landfill that also runs a compost facility for $10 a ton. Our truck couldn't quite hold a full ton so it cost us only $7 and we were able to coat the front lawn with a little leftover for my other garden projects.

I've been watering the compost it in on warm days this winter and hope to see my yard respond with healthier turf. When the grass is fully out of dormancy which is usually around the end of May we plan to aerate the lawn and add more compost. It may take a little time but I'm assured that this will help my Centipede lawn. Check back with me in a few months for an update and we'll see how it works out!

This should work for other types of grass as well. Just remember not to bury your turf too deep in the compost. A thin layer will work best.


  1. Spearmint (Mentha spicata) - not their first choice, but they do eat it in smaller quantities along with the rest of the greens, eventually eating it to the ground self propelled mower lowes