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  1. #11
    Super Member smstonypoint's Avatar
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    Oct 2009
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    SC (Upstate) & NC (Piedmont)
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    NH TN 55, Kubota B2320 & RTV 900, Bad Boy Outlaw 61" ZTR

    Default Re: my soil quality is....dust

    Quote Originally Posted by methatswho View Post
    thanks for the info but the problem with leaving the leafs is that i have french drains installed. now i have looked into a shade tolerant grass but i prefer not to have st augustine i wanted bermuda but it will not grow in shade. so not sure what other kinds of cover would be effective in texas.
    Chances are that your county's cooperative extension office will have an agent who is responsible for homeowner turf/gardening issues. He/she will be able to provide ground cover recommendations for your area/conditions.

    Steve

  2. #12
    Super Member texasjohn's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
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    6,048
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    Central Texas, Jarrell
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    Kubota Grand L5030HSTC

    Default Re: my soil quality is....dust

    OK...gotta tell it to you like it is...sure your best ideas are going to come from an ag agent who can look at your situation...but.
    I've lived in Fort Worth, know the conditions. You are simply dealing with nature and desiring something that kinda fights it. It's a drought, extreme. stuff doesn't grow in a drought, thus dust. You have a french drain which removes what water you may have. Grass needs sun. You seem to be in a forest...forests have leaves on the ground, not grass. Remove the leaves, you have dirt underneath. Bermuda will not grow in dense shade. The kind of ground that oaks and pecans like is not what grass needs. People pay extra for wooded lots...keeps things cooler in the summer...a good thing, particularly if shade on the house, lowers air conditioning bills. Pecans are great in pies and individually, many would love to have pecan trees of bearing size. Aeration is a reasonable idea, you will get soil that is more friable and holds moisture better...when there is any to be had. However, you still have an overstory of trees little sunlight and that means no grass. You can look into xeriscape practices and be happy with the situation you have, save money, and survive what mother nature throws at your yard in the best way possible. Or fight mother nature. Or cut down all your trees.
    Joy is having the tools you need and needing the tools you have!

    Kubota 5030 HSTC, BB, Danueser PHD, LA853 QA HD FEL w JD toothbar, 3pt chisel, 3 pt disk, 6' shredder, Kubota FEL hay spike, 3pt hay fork w carryall, Kubota RTV 1140

  3. #13
    Epic Contributor
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    jinman's Avatar
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    Feb 2001
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    21,014
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    Texas - Wise County - Sunset
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    NHTC45D, NH LB75B, Ford Jubilee

    Default Re: my soil quality is....dust

    Fescue will grow in the shade, but you'll have to water it at least weekly in the hot summer. It stays green all year and is especially nice during fall and spring. It can tolerate hot sun, but it takes some attention. It's not as thirsty as St. Augustine and doesn't go away after the first hard freeze, but you might have to mow a couple of times in Nov/Dec/Jan with our moderate winters. All other common grasses are seasonal, but a good fescue lawn will look nice all year.

    BTW: I'm betting that your major soil problem is moisture. People tend to forget to water grass in the fall/winter when the grass turns brown. If you don't water the grass during winter drought conditions, you most likely won't have grass in the spring. Snow cover in winter is best because of slow melt and deep watering, but snow is something we rarely see around here and it doesn't last long. A good 4"- 6" snow with a slow melt is worth its weight in gold.
    Jim


  4. #14
    Veteran Member
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    Apr 2006
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    western NC
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    Ventrac, Steiner

    Default Re: my soil quality is....dust

    Quote Originally Posted by methatswho View Post
    i have an abundance of trees on my property live oaks, bradford pairs, and a few pecans. i think the amount of leaves that have decomposed in my yard have changed the balance in the soil. my yard has become very dry when i (if i have to) mow so much dust is thrown up in the air i have to use a mask. now dont get me wrong i clean up the yard many times in fall but when i do i rake lines of leafs then mow over them with a push mower to bag them. i had to install french drains because of flooding, i made a run off with river rocks to ease the flow of water in a better direction. what can i do to make the soil retain water and seed better. i read nitrogen helps leaves decompose so i was thinking about adding some to my yard? so my question is will this help with soil quality as well?
    First things first. Get the soil test, adding anyting without the test is just guessing and most folks guess wrong. Nitrogen will probably be the worse thing you can add when its hot and dry. Top dress nitrogen will mostly just evaporate into the atmosphere anyways so you aint getting the results you expect and your wasting money to boot.

    Second, trees consume a ton of moisture, with deep root systems they can suck all the surface mositure from around the tree. The best way to retain the mositure is by raising the organic matter content of your soil. This can be accomplished by generous portions of top dress mulch around the base of the trees. The best mulch for trees is ground bark mulch. Hardwood mulches are prefered over pine bark. You didnt say what you did with the bagged leaves, but composting them first and then using them for a mulch can supplement the bark mulch around the trees.

    Also consider mycorrhizal fungi inccoulants. The hardwood trees will benefit from soil injections around the root zone with Endo mycorrhiza, pines and junifers prefer ecto mycorrhiza. Your grass will also prefer the endo mycor. The benefits of mycorrhizae | Mycorrhizae: Soil fungi for your plant's root growth

  5. #15
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    2,367
    Location
    West Cascades, Washington State USA
    Tractor
    PT 422

    Default Re: my soil quality is....dust

    Quote Originally Posted by texasjohn View Post
    OK...gotta tell it to you like it is...sure your best ideas are going to come from an ag agent who can look at your situation...but.
    I've lived in Fort Worth, know the conditions. You are simply dealing with nature and desiring something that kinda fights it. It's a drought, extreme. stuff doesn't grow in a drought, thus dust. You have a french drain which removes what water you may have. Grass needs sun. You seem to be in a forest...forests have leaves on the ground, not grass. Remove the leaves, you have dirt underneath. Bermuda will not grow in dense shade. The kind of ground that oaks and pecans like is not what grass needs. People pay extra for wooded lots...keeps things cooler in the summer...a good thing, particularly if shade on the house, lowers air conditioning bills. Pecans are great in pies and individually, many would love to have pecan trees of bearing size. Aeration is a reasonable idea, you will get soil that is more friable and holds moisture better...when there is any to be had. However, you still have an overstory of trees little sunlight and that means no grass. You can look into xeriscape practices and be happy with the situation you have, save money, and survive what mother nature throws at your yard in the best way possible. Or fight mother nature. Or cut down all your trees.
    I'd probably try texasjohn's suggestion, if it were me. Sounds like it would be a lot cheaper in the long run as well.

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