Preparation for Lawn
Prepare the ground with these goals in mind:
- Good Drainage.
- Smooth contours for even growth. (No high spots or ruts for mower wheels, as this
will cause scalping.)
- Good topsoil.
You should slope the ground away from buildings and grade to one inch below driveway or sidewalk level. Note: grass bordering driveway or side walk can be mowed with the rest of the lawn, and will not need special edging or use of a weedeater if this advice is followed. Do not leave dips or low spots. They will prevent run-off during the rainy season.
Note: At this point you will need to determine whether you need more topsoil to bring your
lawn to grade. Here are some things you may want to consider.
Well drained fertile loam is the ideal soil for lawns. Sandy or gravelly soils dry out too quickly. Heavy clays are hard to work, and may become waterlogged and compacted. If your soil is unsuitable you may need to buy good topsoil, but most topsoil is usable. Heavy topsoil can be improved by adding sand or organic matter, or both. Clay or silt and organic matter can be added if the topsoil is too light.
Soil improvers: any available organic matter can be used to enhance the quality of your topsoil. There are several sources of organic matter. The one to use depends upon local availability and cost. ‘
Commonly recommended soil improvers.
Mushroom manure. (well rotted)
Chicken manure with sawdust. should be composted
Peat & Sand mixture.
- Any readily available compost. After adding topsoil and or soil improvers bring entire yard to a rough grade, be sure to distribute the improved topsoil evenly over the entire yard.
- Generously apply lime. Use three times the amount recommended for an established lawn.
- Rototill the soil to a depth of 4 to 6 inches.
- Start ground level by raking the high spots into lower areas. A homemade float (a 6 x 6 beam with a rope attached) will work if the soil has been well prepared. Use a string line to check ground levels.
- Roll the soil lightly during the early stages of preparation. This will show up variations in ground level. Continue to rake and roll until the contours are smooth and all high and low spots have been removed.
- When you rake and grade, remove debris such as old sod, plants and rocks. Stones less than one inch in diameter can be left when you are laying turf.