New lawn - Knowledgebase Question

edison, Ne
Question by rapronald
April 21, 2010
When and how do I go about starting a new front lawn ? I own a thiller and aerator.


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Answer from NGA
April 21, 2010

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Proper preparation of the soil is the first step in attaining a healthy lawn. The soil should be tilled thoroughly, either by a mechanical tiller or digging down a spades depth over the entire area. If you've added topsoil to your yard, you will want to be certain that it is well mixed in with the soil underneath. Otherwise it is possible that the roots of your lawn may not penetrate the native soil. If the tilth of the soil is very heavy or sandy, organic material such as peat moss, compost, sludge or even sawdust should be added. The soil is now ready to be raked smooth, filling low spots and removing the humps and breaking up the larger clumps as you go.
Phosphorus is slow to be absorbed into the soil, and next to impossible to introduce to the root zone once the lawn is in, so now is the time to mix some superphosphate into the top few inches of the soil. Use a cultivator to mix it in at a rate of 50 pounds per 1000 sq. ft

Using a steel garden rake, create a finished grade sloped slightly away from the house. Use this oportunity to create very shallow channels to deal with any runoff problems you are aware of and to move water runoff away from the house. Level the soil to avoid any low spots where water may stand, or high spots that could cause the future lawn to be 'scalped' when you mow.

Once you've prepared the soil you can seed your new lawn. The best and most even results are usually achieved using a 'whirlybird' hand crank operated seed spreader. Sow one-quarter of your seed (at one-quarter the recommended rate) to the entire lawn area. Repeat three more applications like this, each in a different direction. Rake the seed lightly into the surface of the soil using a bamboo or fan rake. (Barely brush the seed under the surface of the soil.)

Roll the entire lawn surface with an empty lawn roller to set the seed in good contact with the soil. Water the entire area thoroughly with a fine mist.
Once the seed is planted, make sure that the soil is kept evenly moist until germination.

Good luck with your new lawn!

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