New Lawn Preparation

How to Prepare for a New Lawn

  1. Eliminate existing vegetation (be sure to read all labels carefully when purchasing a herbicide).
  2. Remove debris (rocks, sticks, etc.)
  3. Examine the soil
    • CLAY soil is usually hard when dry, sticky when wet and transfers water and air very slowly, causing the soil to remain soggy,
      while starving the roots of needed oxygen.
    • SANDY soil lets water and air pass readily, but it also dries out very quickly and nutrient levels can be flushed through the soil before they have a chance to do any good.
    • Soil that is between these two types is called LOAM. Loam is a combination of clay, silt and sand which retains nutrients and water, while allowing air to the roots. If you don’t have loam, you will need to add organic matter to build up your soil. Nutrient deficiencies can be corrected anytime, but changing the soil texture under an existing lawn is difficult and expensive. Proper site preparation will be reflected in the health and beauty of your lawn for years.
  4. Rebuilding your soil
    • Rototill your existing soil to a depth of 5 to 6 inches. Choose an organic matter of any of the following: peat moss, manure, sawdust or ground bark. Get the oldest organic matter you can obtain, as fresh matter creates a nitrogen deficiency as it decomposes. Spread the organic matter to a depth of one inch (3 cubic yards will cover about 1,000 square feet). Rototill the organic matter into the soil to a depth of 5 to 6 inches.
    • Another alternative is to apply a good three-way mix over your lawn site. A minimum of 2 inches topsoil is recommended (7 cubic yards will cover about 1,000 square feet).
  5. Establish a rough grade, filling in low spots. Make sure the grade slopes away from your house, sidewalk, driveway, etc.
  6. Watering and rolling – Water your lawn to settle the soil. Wait one day, then roll the soil lightly (using a water lawn roller, half full – available at most local rental centers).
  7. Establish the final grade and fill in any low spots that may have appeared after rolling. Use a three foot landscaping rake (also available at local rental centers) just before seeding to break up any crust that has formed, insuring the seeds have an excellent chance to bond with the soil.

At this point your soil is now ready to be hydroseeded.