Is Soil Health Hurting Your Lawn? How to Spot the Signs

Is Soil Health Hurting Your Lawn? How to Spot the Signs

Is your lawn suffering, even though you are watering it weekly, fertilizing regularly and practicing recommended lawn care practices?

Then the problem may be your soil, or more specifically the health of your soil.

Diagnosing lawn problems can be challenging, but there are some signs that can help you determine if your lawn is suffering due to poor soil health rather than other factors like lack of watering, fertilizer, or poor lawn care practices.

8 Signs that Soil Health is Hurting Your Lawn

1. Patches of Poor Growth

If you notice areas of your lawn with stunted or slow growth, it could be a sign of soil health issues. Poor soil can limit the availability of essential nutrients to the grass, leading to uneven growth patterns.

2. Yellowing or Discolored Grass

Yellow or pale grass, especially in isolated patches, can indicate nutrient deficiencies in the soil. Nutrient-poor soil can lead to chlorosis, where the grass lacks essential elements like nitrogen, iron, or magnesium.

3. Excessive Weed Growth

Weeds can thrive in unhealthy soil conditions. If your lawn is overrun with weeds despite regular maintenance efforts, it may be a sign of poor soil health that's favoring weed growth over grass.

4. Compacted Soil

Soil compaction can prevent water and air from reaching the grassroots, leading to poor water drainage and reduced oxygen availability. If your lawn has areas that are hard and compacted, it may be affecting its overall health.

5. Poor Water Absorption

If water seems to pool or run off the lawn's surface rather than being absorbed, it might indicate compacted or poorly structured soil, making it difficult for the grass to access water.

6. Frequent Pests & Diseases

Unhealthy soil can weaken grass, making it more susceptible to pests and diseases. If you notice recurring pest infestations or disease outbreaks, it could be linked to poor soil conditions.

7. Shallow Root Growth

If the grass roots are shallow and do not penetrate deep into the soil, it may indicate poor soil health. Healthy soil encourages robust root growth, which helps the lawn withstand drought and stress.

8. Slow Recovery

When your lawn is damaged (e.g., from foot traffic, pets, or weather events), it should ideally recover within a reasonable time frame. If it takes an extended period for the lawn to bounce back, it could be a sign of underlying soil issues.

What to Do If You Suspect Soil Health is a Problem

If you suspect that poor soil health is the problem, consider conducting a soil test.

A soil test will provide detailed information about the soil's nutrient levels, pH, and other essential factors, helping you identify specific deficiencies or imbalances. Based on the results, you can take appropriate measures to improve your lawn's soil health, such as adding organic matter, adjusting pH, or using targeted fertilizers. Regular soil testing and proper lawn care practices will contribute to a healthy and thriving lawn.

Earth Smart Solutions offers a number of products to improve soil health including Restore - Natural Soil Builder and Lawn Fertilizer.

Healthy soil is a combination of microorganisms including bacteria, fungi and protozoa, minerals, rock, water, air, organic matter (plant and animal residue), and a variety of insects and worms that carry out a process that continually replenishes the soil and maintains long term soil fertility. Soil building involves a soil balance approach. Start balancing the soil by using products such as organic fertilizers that contain the constituents necessary for soil building. When soil structure improves, soil health will improve, plant health will improve, weed and pest infestations will decrease and the requirement for herbicides and pesticides will be decreased significantly or be eliminated.

For more information on our products please contact your local Earth Smart Solutions representative or contact our head office at 1-888-444-7174 or via email at


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