Soil Preparation Guides

Grass obtains three of the four essential factors (air, water, and nutrients) from the soil, but many soils are less than ideal for growing grass.

Most of our housing developments have very little top soil. When basements are dug, this dirt is placed on top of whatever good dirt was there. This is commonly referred to as "basement topsoil." To further compound the problem, a lot of equipment runs over the ground compacting the basement topsoil. As the soil particles are pushed together, air spaces are removed. This reduces the water holding ability and makes it harder for the roots to penetrate.

The value of proper site preparation and soil improvements, before any planting takes place, is that it will be easier for the grass roots to penetrate deeply and evenly. Deep roots will make the lawn more drought resistant and will allow for more efficient water and nutrient use from sub soil.

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. Unfortunately, sod that is installed on unprepared ground will develop a shallow root system and will use increasing amounts of water.

As a general rule, add 4 cubic yards of organics per 1,000 sq. ft.

The soil is the foundation for any new lawn. If the soil is poor, the grass will struggle to develop a deep root system and will continue to need more water.

Existing soil needs to be rototilled 4 to 6 inches deep. Installing new sod on hard packed ground is like trying to grow grass on your driveway. Although possible, it is not entirely practical.

Add 3 to 4 yds of organic matter for every 1,000 square foot of area to be sodded and rototill into the soil. Incorporating organic matter into the soil will improve its water holding capacity and add vital nutrients.  Proper soil prep is the most important factor in establishing a new lawn.