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Major backyard renovation turned my soil upside down

2 months ago

Lasy Spring we did some terracing in our hillside, adding retaining walls to gain some flat spots.

The result is our new "lawn" is a dead grass spot and our retaining wall planter is barren. We backfilled the retaining wall planter with dirt from the construction.

Retaining Wall: I did a jar soil test, see pic. When I was digging the dirt for the test there were worms in the soil which seemed like a good thing. Results show there is about 1% clay and no organic matter, 74% sand, 25% silt- so that makes loamy sand? sandy? sandy loam? I can't tell because the lines do not intersect on the soil test chart. In any case, I do not want to engage in an endless battle if neccessary. Can I use plants that would like this type of soil and be good? Russian Sage, Blackeyed susan, Lavender??, Hostas, COneflowers? Will I need to constantly emmend the soil with compost? Do I need to start a compost farm?

Sad Lawn: My landscaper insisted that after we shaved the hillside off 6-24" we would only need a 2" layer of topsoil and the grass would grow. And it did, for a second, now its like dead hay. This is a very difficult location to get access too so I am trying to avoid bring in any heavy equipment or lots of material. I read about "BIOChar", that is great for sandy and nutrient weak soil. Would it work to help improve the soil structure??

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