KNOCK OUT LAWN - Knowledgebase Question

CHICAGO, Il
Question by EILEENJACKS
January 21, 2011
MY SIDE YARD IS 50 X100
IT IS IN FULL SUN ALL DAY
HOW CAN I TREAT THE SOIL TO HAVE A KNOCK OUT LAWN/ THE YARD IS BORDERED WITH FLOWERS AND SHRUBS


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Answer from NGA
January 21, 2011

0

Soil preparation is the key to a happy, healthy lawn. Start by removing the old lawn and/or weeds, if any exist. One way to accomplish this is by digging them out with a flat-bladed shovel (make sure you get the roots). A soil test at this point can be helpful. Most lawn grasses prefer a pH of 6.0 to 7.5. If the test reveals that you need to adjust the pH, you can do so now. (The soil test will include recommendations with the results.) Next, break up the soil with a tiller. Tillers (also called rototillers) can be rented from your local rental center. Spread a starter fertilizer over the now-loosened soil. This type of fertilizer is high in phosphorus, the middle number in the NPK sequence on a fertilizer bag. At this time you can spread a soil conditioner over the soil. "Soil conditioner" is often what it's called at the store, but if you have a good supply of compost at home, it will serve just as well as a bagged soil amendment.

Again using the tiller, till the starter fertilizer and soil conditioner (or equivalent) into the soil. I know this seems like a lot of work, but good soil preparation is one key in seeding lawns successfully. Once this is finished, rake the soil to begin to level it out, removing any rocks and debris that you find. To avoid problems with excess water-runoff, make sure that any site grading you do allows water to flow away from your house.

This next step requires a roller. Rollers, like tillers, can be rented from your local rental center. Fill the roller's drum with water, then use the roller to finish leveling the soil. Water the soil lightly.

For this next step you'll need a seed spreader. Following the recommended seeding rate, spread 1/4 of the seed over the entire lawn area. Then repeat 3 times, each time using 1/4 of the seed. However, each of the 4 times you distribute a load of seed, push the spreader in a different direction, to encourage even dispersal.

Rake the seeds in lightly, just covering the seed with a thin layer of soil. Once this is complete, you'll use the roller again. Empty out the water from the drum, because you want it lighter this time. Roll the entire lawn surface so the seeds make good contact with the soil.

In order to germinate the seedbed will need to be kept moist. Use a fine spray of water from the hose. You may need tto water several times a day to keep the soil moist.

After the grass blades sprout, you'll need to water regularly to help the lawn establish well. Enjoy your new lawn!

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