Advice for a septic field lawn and on a well.

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Old 04-16-17, 01:07 PM
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Advice for a septic field lawn and on a well.

So I am stuck I think. I have a septic field lawn and its all sand, and obviously the system is designed to be dry. Past the septic field its pretty much thick clay based soil. I am on a well so I cannot give my lawn a ton of water, not that I should water a septic field anyway. Our spring is cold and damp. Our summers our short, say 6 weeks of good growing, and also bone dry; very little rain. Our rain is somewhat acidic, and our soil is acidic. A lot of our top soil products seem to have too much clay in them. Our winters are not cold enough, so bugs, grubs, and worms make a good active lifestyle in the lawn 'mat'. The lawn is full of worm castings in the spring. And the sale of weed n feed products (the good stuff) is illegal. I spent a small fortune of money completely redoing my lawn. I detached it, then top dressed with stuff that is high in organics, I reseeded it etc. For a couple years I had a beautiful carpet lawn. But with the banning of the herbicide based products I have been losing a slow slow battle. I have tried everything under the sun to no avail. Slowly but surely moss, chickweed, and other stuff are taking over.

Things I do on a regular basis:
  • Apply pelletized lime.
  • Regular fertilizer feeding’s tailored to the time of year
  • Raking
  • Aerating
  • Using iron based weed killers (useless if you ask me)
  • Adding Dutch white clover seed.
  • Use nematodes (to kill the worms, grubs, etc).
  • Overseeding spots where required.

I was hoping over time the clover would take over, choking out the other weeds, and adding (fixing) natural nitrogen back into the lawn. In some spots it seems to work, but for most of the lawn, the clover just doesn't seem to take. I'm thinking of completely mowing the grass down to the sand (again) and dump bags of clover seed on it. I'd like to cover over the field with pavement to be honest but that would not work, it needs to breath. Moss, chickweed, speedwells, and creeping buttercup seem to be my biggest weeds but I expect more stuff to take root with each new year. I've got a few books on lawn care, but they are all designed for use on a lawn with feet of good quality top-soil, lots of water, and lots of money for fertilizers and chemical treatments.

Can anyone offer any thoughts on how I can acheive a thick clover lawn, with minimal maintenance annually, and I don't need to going around all the time trying to kill something and fixing up spots.
 
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Old 04-18-17, 07:00 AM
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Clover

Clover is a legume. The seeds must be inoculated to insure germination. Google "inoculate clover seed" to get information.
 
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Old 04-18-17, 03:54 PM
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Ummm I'm pretty sure inoculation has nothing to do with ensuring germination. but is used to get clover to 'fix' nitrogen; meaning take it from the air and put it in the ground.
 
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Old 04-18-17, 03:58 PM
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Legumes

Ummm I'm pretty sure inoculation has nothing to do with ensuring germination. but is used to get clover to 'fix' nitrogen; meaning take it from the air and put it in the ground.
I gave you advice based on years of farm experience growing legumes.
 
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Old 04-19-17, 02:40 AM
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And I googled it like you said, and everything I found reference the fixing of nitrogen, not germination.

One of many reference sites I found and read through.

Establishing White Clover in Lawns
 
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Old 04-19-17, 06:41 AM
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Old 04-20-17, 02:52 AM
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Sorry I'm confused. That video you pointed to says the same thing. That inoculation helps ensure the clover fixes the nitrogen. He makes no mention of inoculation helping with germination rates. Thanks for the suggestion just the same.

I think one of my issues has been seeding in the autumn, and as a result a lot fo the young clover can't survive the winter. So I'm gonna drop a few bags in the next week or two. Waiting for the temperature to stay above 10c.
 
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Old 09-13-17, 04:22 PM
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Well I think I found my issue with clover not taking as well as I had hoped. I simply have too much thatch down I think;I guess my raking was not that good. I bought a "scrake" and wow what a mess of dead stuff that comes up. But it would take a year using this hand tool, so I think this spring I will get a detaching machine, and then I will lay the clover to it.

But I will have the same issues as I described when I originally posted. So, I am still open to ideas if you folks have them. All I want is for clover to take really good, which I think will help the grass immensily, and the two together will choke out the weeds. Does anyone have expertise knowledge on septic fields? If I put down 6 to 12 inches of good quality top soil (which is darn near impossible to find in this province) will it in any way hurt my septic field? The thing needs to breath so I'm scared to add any layer of top soil.

Also, does anyone use Ferrous Sulphate as a stand alone product application, and if so how do you find that with weeds? The British seem to love it. :-)
 

Last edited by Bob_Plumb; 09-13-17 at 04:39 PM. Reason: Added more stuff.
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Old 09-24-17, 02:55 PM
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Might you be overthinking this ? First....how is your septic field doing ? Do you have the tank pumped every 4-5 years....... and what do the pumpers say? Residue/sludge looks pink or.....? Is there a junction box that gives you access to the leach lines so you can have someone put a camera down there, if necessary ? Or, you can add copper crystals in the box so that intruding roots can be held at bay.

The purpose of lawn or other greenery is to suck up the effulent and transpire it away. If you have no evidence that your lawn is not working as designed.....why fool with it ?
 
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