Soil Preparation How-To



Soil Preparation

Soil preparation is one of the most important factors in establishing a lawn. How well the soil holds water and allows the grass to develop its root systems is determined by the condition of the soil.

Breaking up the soil will aid in air flow and allow nutrients to reach the roots. Grass grown on hard packed ground will use more water and be less drought resistant.

We recommend rototilling at least 4 inches deep.

Soil amendments, such as organics, are vital to improving the water holding capacities of the soil.

Unfortunately that is exactly what many developers did in the past. Sod that is installed on unprepared ground will develop a shallow root system and will use increasing amounts of water. My yard is covered with weeds.

To completely eradicate them requires spraying them with chemicals such as Weed-Be-Gone.

Rototilling under old sod will always leave a lumpy, uneven surface to place the new sod. It is always best to remove the old sod before any soil preparation is begun.

To completely prevent any regrowth from roots that may be left after the old sod is taken out, it is necessary to kill the old sod with Roundup.

This can sometimes be a problem, as not all landfills will take yard waste.

To make sure the new sodded lawn is as weed free as possible and to start with a smooth level surface all weeds and existing plant material should be removed prior to sodding.

The area to be sodded should be as raked as smooth as possible, careful to remove all low and high spots.

It is always good to have some existing moisture already in the soil before sodding, not too muddy, but firm enough to walk

We do not supply rototillers or sod cutters. They can be rented at any local equipment rental store and at some home improvement warehouses.

We do not stock organics for sale. Local landscape supply centers and garden centers will have them.

Organics can be "hot" and actually burn up the roots of the new sod if not mixed into the existing soil.

It is always best to incorporate topsoil into the existing soil to prevent a layering effect where water becomes trapped between the new topsoil and the base soil.

The problem with using manure is that has not been aged. Many of the weed seeds are still fertile and will sprout when you begin watering the new sod.

In heavy clay soil like we have in many areas along the Front Range, adding some sand may help with drainage. But adding to much can turn the soil into an adobe like substance which will hinder drainage not improve it.