Whenever repairing or installing a new lawn from seed or sod, one very important aspect of the planting process is soil preparation. Besides using premium fresh site-specific grass seed or sod, avoiding the hot and dry season (if possible) and ensuring routine irrigation, the better the initial soil preparation is, the better the outcome will most certainly be.
Here are a few soil preparation tips that will ensure success when planting grass from seed and/or sod.
Before planting grass seed over an existing weakened stand of grass, be sure to core aerate first to open the existing soil, relieve compaction and allow for improved seed-to-soil contact. Better yet, mechanically power rake the lawn first (spring or fall preferred) to scarify the soil surface and to remove debris and excess thatch. Once dethatched, core aerate (single or multiple passes ok) then spread grass seed over prepared surface by walk behind drop/broadcast spreader or plant seed directly into soil via mechanical slit-seeder.
If planting grass seed across bare ground be sure to cultivate/roto-till the existing soil first. Before adding any/all amendments, starter fertilizer or additional top soil, for large open widespread areas, use a front or rear tine tiller to cultivate the soil to a depth of 2″-4″ first. For small spot-repair areas use a steel rake, cultivator or even a Garden Weasel to cultivate the soil manually. Once all bare soil areas have been cultivated and soil compaction has been broken, rake loosened soil to level and grade adequately across site to ensure proper drainage, etc..
Add pulverized top soil (as/if needed) to further improve/elevate areas targeted for eventual seed planting to complete.
Assuming that we are starting with a bare ground situation where all existing unwanted grass has either been manually, mechanically or chemically removed prior to new sod installation, bare compacted soil needs to be adequately cultivated before new sod can be successfully grown. Again, just like when planting grass seed across large open areas, roto-tilling is the preferred method of soil preparation.
Once all bare soil areas have been roto-tilled/cultivated (depth of 2″-4″ ideal), add amendments, fertilizer or additional pulverized top soil to prepare the site for new sod installation.
Take your time, be thorough in your soil preparation and you will have a beautiful new lawn in no time!
Please be sure to consider Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. for your next grass planting project. We are happy to answer any questions you may have and help any way we can. Thank you for visiting our site and have a great day!