Are you considering installing a new lawn or renovating a worn lawn? Whether you are planning to use seed or sod, it is critical to prepare the soil. This is often neglected and people are left with unfavorable results. Your lawn will establish much better with proper soil preparation. Here are the best steps to take to prepare your soil.
- Remove Old Turf
Poor quality turf must be killed and removed. This can be accomplished through solarization, heavy mulches, hoe or sod cutter or herbicides.
- Fix Grade Problems
This is the perfect time to fix any grade problems. The ground should slope away from your house in all directions. For minor grading problems, use small earth-moving equipment. You can also use a landscaping rake to work the topsoil to the proper grade. Water the area to discover low areas. Fill where puddles form with soil from high spots or top soil. Heavy equipment is required for major grade projects.
- Perform Soil Analysis
Testing your soil allows you to discover the characteristics of the soil you are working with and determine if it is lacking nutrients. The pH may be out of balance. Lime needs to be added to raise the soil pH and elemental sulfur if your soil is too alkaline.
- Till Soil
Use a rake to remove any debris such as rocks, roots, weeds and leaves. A rotary tiller works best to till the soil. It is recommended to till the soil 4 to 6 inches deep.. Never lay sod on compacted soil with the expectation that it will grow. You will be disappointed.
- Add Amendments
This is your best opportunity to add amendments such as lime, sulfur, fertilizer or organic matter. This improves soil structure. Organic material can increase nutrients and moisture retention or loosen the soil to provide better aeration and drainage.
- Level Soil
Use a grading lake, also known as a landscaping rake, to eliminate low and high spots. Get the surface as level and smooth as possible.
- Firm Soil
Roll the prepared soil with a lawn roller to slightly firm the soil. If seed is planted in soil that is too loose, it can end up too deep in the ground and may die before it reaches the surface.
- Water Soil
Complete planting preparations by thoroughly watering the area two days before planting.
Now your site is ready for seeding or sodding. Good site preparation will simplify maintenance for years to come and ensure a healthier turf.
Let R&D Lawn Care lay your sod or seed your lawn for you. Call Derrick at 417-438-6590 for a lawn consultation.