Answer: First off I would suggest you run some basic soil tests to check the fertility and pH of the soil to see if you will need to add fertilizer and/or lime to correct the pH. Then you would work in some organic matter such as compost, loosening the soil down about six inches to encourage healthy rooting. level the area carefully and rake the surface smooth before planting. You will need to keep the soil slightly moist while waiting for the seed to germinate. Keep in mind also that late summer to early fall is actually the best time for lawn work, so if the current effort does not succeed fully you may need to reseed then as well. Your local county extension can help with running the soil tests and interpreting the results as well as suggest the best varieties of lawn grass to plant and then help you develop an ongoing maintenance plan for it.
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