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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    66

    Default Questions for a difficult yard

    I live in Denver CO, and our new home is proving to be a difficult area to grow anything outside of sandburs and goatheads. So I have some questions.

    1. Our soil is a sandy clay mixture so when it's dry, the ground is rock hard. Is there a way to treat the ground before planting grass seed to ensure the seed takes root? Or is there a nice drought resistant grass anyone knows of for this area?

    2. There is an area of our yard our dog has been using as a bathroom over the long winter months. Now I would like to plant something there to keep down on the blowing dirt. Is there anything I have to do to the soil to make up for all the urine that has been spread around?

    3. Last year I planted a veggie garden but again I think it is soil issues. My garden did not do so well and this year I wanted to plant a little larger selection. Tips for gardening in sandy clay like soil and what I can to do to prepare the garden before planting?

    Think that's it for now. Thanks in advance for all the advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,613

    Default Re: Questions for a difficult yard

    This might sound like a broken record, but you will never go wrong by adding manure or compost to your soil to improve nutrient levels and bio-activity. Organic matter will break up clay particles, leaving behind fertile, tillable soil.

    I wouldn't worry about the small amount of urine where the dog has been over the winter, however you may want to consider a permanent "winter" residence/kennel area for the dog to prevent damaging grass through the winter months as well as tracking the muck into the house.

    For your grass area I would recommend applying 3" to 4" of municipal compost or manure and work it 4" - 6" into the soil. For the garden area I recommend manure or organic compost not municipal compost because municipal compost isn't free of chemicals and other nastiness you don't want in your veggie garden. I would also say that two applications of manure or organic compost, worked to a depth of 6" to 12" would be best.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Sand Springs, OK
    Posts
    467

    Default Re: Questions for a difficult yard

    I agree with A.Spruce.

    I will only add that promoting good soil will kill out the goatheads and sandburs.
    Debby in Oklahoma

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    66

    Default Re: Questions for a difficult yard

    Thanks for the help. Only trouble is the size of our yard and getting that much compost into the place will be a challenge. Maybe we'll work in sections over the next couple of years.

    Thanks for the tip on the garden compost I will be careful what I put around the veggie garden.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,613

    Default Re: Questions for a difficult yard

    If you've got a significant area, then I'd recommend renting a tractor with a bucket and rototiller. The bucket will aid in spreading the organic material and the tiller will take care of business. If you were to do much by hand, it will indeed take you a great long while to accomplish your goal. My garden is only 20x70 and it took me 4 days to bring in the material in a 5x8 trailer and get it spread and another 4 days to get it rototilled with a mid-tine tiller, and I was shot by the end of the whole ordeal.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    693

    Default Re: Questions for a difficult yard

    Quote Originally Posted by Capellam44 View Post
    Thanks for the help. Only trouble is the size of our yard and getting that much compost into the place will be a challenge. Maybe we'll work in sections over the next couple of years.

    Thanks for the tip on the garden compost I will be careful what I put around the veggie garden.
    Order your material in bulk from a place like Santa Fe Sand and Gravel and rent a rear tine Rototiller.

    Are you out on the East side of town?

    Rototil first then spread the compost and rototil again

    Also, Call 811 the "Call before you dig" line and have your utilities marked. Believe me, you never know how low your utility lines are actually buried and it is "law" in CO. I found out the hard way.

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