Hi Beaver Turf, I live in NW Corvallis and have a large, shady, and very wet backyard. The soil is thick clay and gets very saturated in the winter, spring, and fall. The lawn was obviously planted long ago and is a patchy mix of moss, crab grass, weeds, and some unknown variety of turf grass. I would like to start from scratch. My plan is to level and cover the whole area with loam and then broadcast new seed and fertilizer. After this I would probably use a roller. Is this the best approach? If so, what seed variety do you recommend for our area? When is the best time of year for this project? Also, I have heard that covering the reseeded area with straw is a good idea. Is this necessary in your opinion? Thanks very much!
Benton County Oregon
Adding a loam soil will improve drainage slightly. The more important factor is the water table is there anywhere for the water to go once it collects, i.e. drainage - Dry well? French Drain? Catch basin? Etc.
This would be a much better investment than adding loam soil. Turf will do fine in heavy clay soil, it is a very tough plant.
If you are still looking to renovate…
I would suggest investing in drainage, French drain or catch basin.
Spraying your lawn with Round-up (twice applications 3 weeks apart).
Scalp the remaining vegetation, rake and then detach or aerify the soil (see the photo below).
Seed into the soil after it has been cultivated (detached or aerified) – fine fescue/perennial ryegrass mixture.
Apply a lawn fertilizer the same day at the labeled rate.