Establishing a new lawn requires a lot of preparation. In fact, the more you prepare the site by clearing vegetation and preparing the soil, the faster your new lawn will become established and the more thick and lush it will grow. Begin to clear the land for a new lawn in late summer for seeding or laying sod in early fall, which is the ideal time to establish a new lawn.
Pick up rocks, trash or any other debris in the planting site.
Remove existing grass, weeds or perennial plant materials from the new lawn area. Begin several weeks before seeding or putting down sod. Use a rototiller to turn the soil under two to three times at 10- to 14-day intervals, with the final tilling the day before planting. This will snub out existing vegetation and also any weed seeds that sprout when they are brought to the surface from tilling.
Dig out and remove any woody bushes, shrubs or large perennial plants. Use a shovel and remove as much of the root system as you can to prevent them from regrowing. If necessary, use an ax to break up the roots for more easy removal from the ground.
Regrade the site, if necessary, so the land is level and free of high or low spots. Use a shovel to remove soil from the higher areas and add it to the lower lying areas. Fill in lower areas to slightly above the level of the surrounding soil so that it is level after the newly added soil settles.