Soil Prep for Turf Grass

Removing Potential Problems

·      Before sowing grass seed, the site needs to be cleared. Removing all sticks, rocks and plant debris before tilling and amending the soil prevents problems. Grade the lawn area so that there are no high spots or low spots. When one area is higher or lower than another area, the lawn mower tends to cut the high areas too close, creating an uneven cut or even a bare spot in the lawn. Flattening out and removing the debris before sowing the seeds is a lot easier than trying to fix an established lawn.

Evaluating the Soil

·      Soil varies greatly from region to region. Before amending the soil in preparation for grass seed, it is important to know what you are dealing with. Heavy clay soil is common and particularly difficult to grow grass in. To test the consistency of the soil, dig out a handful of soil 6 inches down and form it into a ball in your hand. If it crumbles easily, the soil is sandy. Loamy soil forms a loose, rough ball that will crumble with light pressure. Clay soil forms a slick, hard ball that holds together under pressure.

Amending the Soil

·      Using additional topsoil is a good idea for any soil type, particularly sandy soil and clay soil. The top soil helps to smooth out the area and aerate the soil. Use a 2-inch layer of quality topsoil for sandy soil. For clay soil, more organic matter is required to prepare the soil for grass seed. Add a 4 inch layer of, half topsoil, and half one or a combination of peat moss, manure or compost.

Working the Soil

·      Work the area to aerate the soil and to work in any organic matter or top soil that was added to the lawn area. Using a rototiller or small tractor, turn over the top six inches of soil to thoroughly work in the amending materials and create a deep, even planting site. Rake the area smooth and water until it is damp before planting the grass seed. Test the soil with the ball method. If it still forms a hard clay mass or falls apart easily, add more amending materials and till the area again.

Website Builder