The Q&A Archives: lawn grass care fertilizer

Question: I just purchased roll out lawn. This comes with seeds under it. I have never had a lawn. What do I need to do to the soil to prepare? Do I need fertilizer? What type of soil?

Answer: Soil preparation is important for success with seeding. You need to remove any existing vegetation, loosen the soil down about six inches, and work in organic matter such as compost. Ideally you would test the soil to check fertility and soil pH levels, then add fertilizer and/or lime as indicated by the test results and work those into the soil at the same time. Otherwise, you could use a "lawn starter" fertilizer per the label directions. Remove rocks and larger stones. Level the area and rake the surface smooth. Then lay out your roll and follow the suppliers instructions. Be sure to keep the soil moist -- if it dries out the grass seed will die. Your local Cornell county extension should be able to help you with the soil testing and interpreting the results. Testing is the only way to know how much lime to use. Good luck with your new lawn!

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