April 22, 2022 0 Comments

A Guide To Preparing Soils For New Lawns

No matter the situation or reasons for wanting to install a new lawn at our homes, a newly turfed yard area adds tremendous beauty and landscape value to our home environment. Not to mention the added resale value to the property itself, when the yard has naturally turfed lawn areas.

Today’s modern and highly improved lawn varieties are another reason to replace an existing lawn which may be in poor condition. No matter the reason, whether to improve an existing lawn, to tame a wild jungle garden etc, installing a new lawn is a great improvement for any yard.

The most important aspect to consider when laying any new lawn, is also the one aspect which many people often neglect the most, which can then lead to many poor health problems in the future for our new lawns, which we had such high hopes for when we installed them. And that one most important aspect of all is our lawn soils.

Begin Soil Preparation In Advance

The yard area which is to be used for the new lawn should be prepared weeks in advance of laying any new sod. This gives the soil a chance to break down any nutrients that were added to the soil prior to the lawn being laid, as well as giving opportunity to allow any weed seeds that are dormant in the soil to propagate so they can be removed by us before the sod goes down.

Whether old turf needs to be removed or the yard area to be used needs to be cleaned up in any way, we do this first, and ensure the lawn area is completely clean of all debris, rocks, weeds and all other foreign matter, until we are left with a clean working area where the lawn is to be laid.

Soil evaluation should be considered at this time also. Any poor soils can have new top soil added at this time, while the weeks of rest period for the lawn area will also help in the soil compaction and levelling before the sod is put down.

Likewise, sandy or clay based soils can be further improved at this optimal time.

Natural organic or manure based soil improvers could be added at this time also, and raked into the soil and watered in. Once again, the rest time for the soil will aid in breaking down these valuable nutrients into the soil before the sod goes down. Also, new lawns should never be laid on top of freshly manured soils, as this has the potential to burn roots of the sod. So allow time for these fertilizers to break down first.

During the lead up of a few weeks prior to the lawn being installed, keep the soil moist, which allows the added organic supplements to decompose, but also allows weeds to germinate in the lawn area. We want these weed seeds to germinate in the soil, so that the weeds can be removed from the soil before the lawn is installed. Which is far better than waiting until our new lawn is in our yard flourishing and then we see those dreaded weeds popping up out of nowhere, only to be treated with a herbicide later. Best to remove weeds in the soil prior to the lawn going down, and to have a plan to do just that.

Levelling out of the soil would also be done in this time, to ensure as flat and even a surface area as possible. The occasional watering or rainfall at this time would also help to compact the soil a little, while showing us where any soft spots are in the area, which may need to be filled or levelled further before the new sod is installed. Ultimately, a heavy roller should be used for best results in compacting the soil so that it is flat and even, without any soft spots that compress under foot when walked upon.

Final Soil Preparation Prior To Laying New Sod

After we have done all soil preparations weeks prior, and allowed the soil to rest, and removed any weeds which may have emerged in the meantime, it is now time for final preparation before the new sod goes down.

And at this late stage, all that is required is really a final levelling out of the soil, and soil compaction if it hasn’t been done already – using a heavy roller which can be hired from a hire shop. These rollers are often have cylindrical drums that are filled with water by the homeowner to achieve their desired weight, and then pushed over the soil area to aid in compaction.

Ideally the final soil preparation should be done one day prior to laying the new sod. That way we are all prepared to lay the sod, without any distractions whatsoever on the day it arrives at our property.


Of all the new lawns I’ve installed over many years, I’ve found this system to be most beneficial to aid in gaining the best possible results when laying all new lawns. I’ve also witnessed the results of using the quick and easy methods, and the difference in end results of lawn quality can be amazing to see.

Proper soil preparation which begins weeks prior to laying any new sod has so many outstanding benefits for so many years into the future, and should be the only way a new lawn is planned and prepared for in any yard.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9419896

March 9, 2022 0 Comments

Spring Lawn Care And Maintenance

The inclement weather conditions of winter makes a lawn weary. Following a few simple steps will help the lawn recover its lush green coloration and flourish. Raking, repairing damaged areas, renovating the lawn’s appearance and correct fertilizer applications restore a lawn to its pre-winter glory.

New Lawn Growth

During the cold winter months, grass enters a state of dormancy. It will cease growing which makes its general appearance become ragtag. Its lack of growth during the winter also makes it more susceptible to damage from freezing, drainage issues and snow accumulation. In order for the grass to flourish and grow correctly, the winter damage must be fixed.

Clear Debris

Before undertaking spring lawn care, allow the area to dry out. A wet or soggy lawn can sustain damage when cultivated. The roots will be easily pulled from the soil and the blades bent or broke. Once the lawn has dried out, it should be thoroughly raked to help aerate the soil. Raking will remove accumulated winter debris. It will also open up the soil and the grass blades to create air circulation. Good air circulation around the crown of the plants and each blade of grass will help prevent fungal problems from developing. A basic hard tine rake works adequately to help remove dead grass plants and lawn debris or a lawn vacuum or leaf blower for larger lawns can help with larger lawns.

Post-Winter Scarification

Moss and thatch buildup can occur from the long winter months. A lawn that suffers excessive thatch or moss buildup will benefit from a scarification treatment. Scarification should never take place if there is still any danger of spring frosts. Consider performing scarification in mid-April or later. If the lawn has excessive moss, use a moss killer two to three weeks before scarification. The lawn should be newly mown and moderately wet to successfully scarify it. Use a hand spring bok rake or a powered scarifier. The goal is to tear up the thatch, dead grass plants and any weeds. The grass will usually suffer extensive visual damage after scarification. If bare patches occur, consider patching the areas by reseeding.


Spring is the ideal time to address pending weed. In regions where crab grass is a problem, apply a pre-emergence crabgrass weed killer to the lawn during the first weeks of April. Avoid using a crabgrass weed killer that contains fertilizers. Fertilizing the lawn too early will cause a weak root system. After applying the pre-emergence weed killer, water the lawn with about 1/2 inch of water. Mowing the lawn to a height of 2 inches will also help control spring weeds. Crabgrass seeds begin to germinate when the soil temperature reaches 60 degrees Fahrenheit so treatment with a pre-emergence weed killer will help prevent the seeds from germinating.


Fertilizing in the spring replenishes the grass plant’s food supply. The fertilizer will encourage the grass to develop healthy, new growth and a strong root system. An adequate, balanced fertilizer will create a thick lawn that will be able to more easily combat weeds by choking them out. Apply fertilizer when the grass begins to show signs of breaking dormancy. Grass roots will grow when the temperature is between 55 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Its top growth will develop when the temperature reaches 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Never fertilize a lawn too early in the spring because the new growth may suffer damage if a late spring frost should hit. Use a balanced spring lawn fertilizer and avoid high-nitrogen mixes. A high-nitrogen based lawn fertilizer will encourage the lawn to grow and develop a deep green coloration but a shallow root system. The shallow roots will be unable to withstand a summer drought.

Apply fertilizer applications to the lawn in mid-May. Use a fertilizer that offers at least 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn space. The fertilizer label will usually have general application guidelines. After applying the fertilizer, be sure to saturate the lawn to prevent the grass blades from sustaining damage from the fertilizer. Nitrogen can burn grass blades. A slow release nitrogen fertilizer has the least chance of accidentally harming the grass.

New Season Overseeding

If the lawn suffers from bare spots or a patchy appearance it can benefit from spring seeding. Lawn seeds will not germinate until the soil reaches 65 degrees Fahrenheit, so avoid seeding the lawn if it remains too cold. The ideal time to overseed an existing lawn is usually after mid-April. Seed Kentucky bluegrass at a rate of 1.5 pounds per 1,000 square feet, use 3 pounds of fine fescue grass seeds per 1,000 square feet or use 6 pounds of tall fescue per 1,000 feet. Spreading straw mulch across the newly laid seeds will help keep them from blowing away and will also help keep the seeds moist. Regularly water the newly laid seeds and avoid allowing them to dry out. The seeds require even moisture to successfully germinate. Usually one bale of straw per 1,000 feet will adequately protect the seeds. When seeding a lawn in the spring, consider using a starter fertilizer that contains Tupersan to avoid a crabgrass infestation.

Look Forward To A Green Lawn All Year

With only a bit of spring care, a lawn can look amazing by summer. It will also help prepare the lawn for the following winter by encouraging it to produce a strong, deep root system and store valuable nutrients.

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Jack_D_Turner/1133195