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How to start a decent lawn

A friend recently asked, “How would a person go about trying to get a decent front lawn where there is nothing, not even wiregrass, to cover the hardpan?”

Ah, that’s a tough question to answer. It’s tough because there are so many variables involved in cultivating some sort of green groundcover over the typical local combination of sandy and clay soil that doesn’t like to grow anything except weeds and wiregrass (more on wiregrass, later).

If you want to grow something green and attractive on a bare stretch of ground, start preparing the soil several months before planting time by obtaining a soil test kit from your local Extension office. In Gloucester, call 804-693-2602 for information on soil testing. In Mathews, call Extension at 804-725-7196.

Follow the test kit instructions to obtain an appropriate sample, which you will send to Virginia Tech for testing. The results will give you specific information about the condition of your soil and the nutrients needed to improve ...

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