Lawn Problems for Years - Neighbors had a Black Walnut Tree for Decades

Asked July 17, 2018, 4:51 PM EDT

Hello! I have had a challenges with growing a healthy lawn since I brought the property, nearly 20 years ago. I only just learned today about the Juglone toxicity that the decades-old Black Walnut tree in our neighbor's yard was adding into our soil. Squirrels have been burying the walnuts in our backyard every fall. The tree was removed about two years ago and our yard has continued to be in poor health. We are planning to sod the entire yard, front to back, this fall and we want to make sure that we've done everything that we can to help prepare the soil so that new grass will survive. Do you have any advice/information on what we should do in preparation for planting new sod? Many thanks!

Hennepin County Minnesota lawn and turf sodding lawns

2 Responses

From what I can find, it seems most grasses like Bluegrass and Fescue are not affected by the juglone coming from the Black Walnut roots. You do want to remove any walnuts you find when preparing the soil. Another article from Penn State Extension says aerated and organic rich soil tends to counter the juglone. Therefore I would make sure to add good compost to the soil before sodding. Till it in good and remove any roots or nuts that get turned up by the tiller.

Many thanks, Barbara! We will make sure to add good compost to the soil before sodding. Your advice is much appreciated. - Chad Zenk-Tills