Q. We bought a new house and must decide about a lawn. There is only about 3 inches of soil, and our landscape contractor is encouraging us to add another 3 inches of soil before we lay down sod. He says paying for the extra soil is worth it because the lawn will look so much better, and we will save enough on irrigation costs to justify the cost in one growing season.

A. I agree with your landscape contractor. Adding the extra soil is a bargain that will quickly pay for itself because you won’t need nearly as much water. When I was county horticulturist in Bexar County, the city of San Antonio imposed a 4-inch soil depth requirement, but we recognized the advantage that would have existed if there was 6 inches of soil under every lawn. 

Calvin Finch is a retired horticulture agent in Bexar County. He writes for and works with a number of area media outlets.

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