How to Prepare Soil to Grow Grass


Lush, green lawns require hard work and thoughtful planning. Reduce the time involved in creating a new lawn by providing the best planting conditions for your grass. Begin preparing the soil several weeks before planting grass. The area should meet the light requirements for the type of grass you wish to grow and contain well-draining soil. Native grass varieties generally require less maintenance and are conditioned to grow well in local weather conditions.

Step 1

Test the pH of the soil. Neutral to slightly acidic soils are ideal when planting new grass. Add any necessary soil amendments, such as lime or iron sulfate.

Step 2

Remove any large rocks and sticks from your planting area.

Step 3

Loosen the top 2 to 3 inches of soil with a rototiller. For better removal of weeds, till the soil twice in one-week intervals.

Step 4

Pull any weeds from your planting area. Weed roots should be exposed or loosened after tilling, simplifying removal.

Step 5

Level soil into a flat planting bed with a rake. Smooth out any areas where water may collect, as this can damage seedlings and prevent the growth of grass.

Step 6

Water your soil 24 hours in advance of planting plugs or sod.

Tips and Warnings

  • Refrain from using chemical weed killers before planting as this could damage the growth of new grass.

Things You'll Need

  • Rototiller
  • Rake


  • Greenview: How to Plant Grass Seed
  • Seedland: Bermuda Grass Site Preparation
  • University of Florida Extension: St. Augustine Grass for Florida Lawns
Keywords: prepare soil, plant grass, grow grass

About this Author

Kelsey Erin Shipman has worked as a travel writer, poet, journalist and award-winning photographer since 2004. Her work has appeared in various newspapers, magazines and journals. Shipman has also authored three collections of poetry: "Cold Days," "Bastante" and "Short Poems." She earned a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Southwestern University.