Soil Preparation For Lawn
A newly turfed yard can improve the entire outlook, add great value to your home, and actually lower the temperature around your house!
If you are considering installing a new lawn the most important aspect is soil preparation. Sadly, this is generally one of the most ignored processes as some homeowners feel they can grow their turf on any soil. Below, we’ll discuss the best basic soil preparation for lawns.
1. Plan Your Soil Preparation In Advance
Measure & set out the yard area where you want to install the lawn so you know where you’re working. The right preparation of the area is crucial before laying any new sod as it will give the soil the chance to break down the essential nutrients that are added prior to the installation process. It also allows any dormant weed seeds present in the soil to propagate so that they can be removed before growing any sod.
2. Clean the soil of all debris
The first stage of preparing your soil for turf is to clean the soil of old turfs! Make sure your soil is completely clean of all debris, weeds, rocks, and other foreign objects. Rake your area smooth and do this until you are left with a clean working area where the lawn is to be laid.
For new builds make sure you clean your building site and remove all cement and concrete some the soil as I can change your soil PH levels and burn your roots
I like to bobcat out at least 80-100 mm deep so the roots will grow deep into the soil not just get its nutrients from the top few mils of good soil. You want to encourage it to grow deep and make sure the soil can take in water and allow air to go thru to the roots and soil.
3. Evaluate your soil
The next step is to evaluate your soil for nutrients and features. It doesn’t matter if your soil is poor or not because you can fix it with the right added nutrients. If you have poor soil, you can easily add new topsoil to it.
4. Add nutrients and organic manure as required
Natural organic manure and soil nutrients can be added to the soil as required. The rest period will ensure that the nutrients are broken down and ready before you start planting the sods or rolling the turf. Meanwhile, you should not attempt to lay your lawn on top of freshly-laid, manured soil as the chemicals can burn the root of these seeds. Therefore, allow the manure to breakdown before you
start planting. Ideal manure includes plant and animal remains.
I like to use organic 2000 as a soil and turf starter and I also mix in Bentonite as a soil wetter to help the soil retain moisture (both available from Soils Ain’t Soils). A good mixture of soil conditioner and some clean yellow sand with some clay is good.
Just laying on straight soil conditioner isn’t good for the lawn. Once the area is prepped and the retic has been installed, you need to mix in your new soil mixture and spread it out with a bobcat on bigger areas and the use a level or paving screed to get the area nice and flat.
Then put a small layer of Organic 2000 on top of the soil and water in to make sure the roots dont burn when you first lay the turf.
5. Keep the soil moist
Add some water to the soil and keep it moist throughout this preparation period. This will allow the added organic supplements to fully decompose and also for the hidden weed pollens to germinate. Note that you want the weeds to germinate so that they can be completely removed.
Make sure the soil is well draining and has plenty of organic matter in it to promote growth. This allows the soil and roots to breath and take up water.
6. Level out the soil
Leveling out the soil is the final stage of soil preparation before the planting process. Occasional rainfall and watering will help to compact the soil a little but you may still need manual leveling tools like a heavy roller to achieve a better result. Make sure you remove all weeds that may sprout in the meantime before proceeding to plant your sod.
Once you have laid the lawn cut out around the sprinklers and any trees or garden beds. Then use a water roller or plate compactor to compact the top of the turf to push the roots into the new soil. This just helps the lawn to bed itself in the soil faster.
Try to water the lawn 3-4 times a day but only for 10-15mins per time to just keep the leaf moist.