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Preparing for New Grass

by Laura Horwitz, All About Lawns Columnist

When you plant a new lawn, you can take some initial steps to prepare the site, ensuring lovely green grass for your home. In spite of the extra time involved, early preparation is well worth the effort, for it keeps the new grass healthier in the long run.

First Step: The Soil Test

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  • Make it greener
  • Eliminate patches
  • Less weeds
  • Make it thicker
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Since soil testing takes some time, do it early. The results can tell you the level of nutrients in the soil, the pH value, and the amount and type of fertilizer and/or lime you need for optimum plant growth. Make sure you understand how to test properly to get accurate results. You can take or send your samples to a variety of testing.

Different grass types respond better to certain types of soil, as you might imagine. Therefore, the results can help you make a better decision about which grass type to plant for your new lawn.

Next Steps for New Grass

Once you’ve received the results of your soil test, you can begin to adequately prepare the site:

  • Work the appropriate amount and type of fertilizer and lime, if required, into the top four to six inches of soil.
  • Use a mechanical tiller or dig down a spade’s depth over the entire area.
  • For heavy or sandy soil, consider adding organic material like compost or peat moss.
  • Determine the best grass type for your climate, soil, the amount of traffic you expect, and the amount of maintenance you’re willing to provide.
  • If you want an automatic sprinkler, install it before you plant.
  • Level all the soil to avoid any low spots where water can gather.

Proper preparation can help ensure beautiful green grass and healthy growth for your brand new lawn.

About the Author
Laura Horwitz has worked as a freelance writer and researcher for five years in both London and the US. She had a monthly landscaping and tips column for the Sussex County magazine RH Review, and her articles have appeared in Film Focus, 6 Degrees Film, and BizBash magazine.

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