Soil Preparation for Grass


A well-groomed lawn can improve the appearance and value of a home and can brighten up a neighborhood block for all who pass by. A pristine lawn starts with proper soil preparation, which starts long before the grass is planted. Soil preparation takes some labor and planning, but can save a homeowner a great deal of time and money in replacement grass by treating soil problems before they can affect the grass. Understand the benefits and processes behind soil preparation for grass.


Soil preparation for grass is a set procedures performed before planting a lawn that help make sure the grass will successfully grow when it is planted. Because sod and grass seed are expensive and installing them is a labor-intensive process, most gardeners prepare lawn soil before planting to protect their lawn investments.


Types of procedures performed to prepare soil for grass include soil testing, leveling and grading, and soil amendment. Soil testing determines properties of the soil that can help a lawn gardener make amendments to the soil. Leveling and grading makes sure that the soil is even and flat. Soil amendment is the process of adjusting the soil by adding ingredients like lime, sulfur, compost, fertilizer, calcium and topsoil. When testing soil, one sample should be taken approximately every 1,000 square feet of lawn to ensure an accurate reading in all areas of the land.

Time Frame

Preparing your lawn soil for grass should be done at least a month in advance of planting the lawn. Soil analysis results from soil testing can take up to a month to come back from the lab.


Properly preparing your lawn soil for planting grass will help ensure that the lawn has even drainage and the right nutrients to thrive. A properly graded lawn will prevent the soggy patches that lead to overwatered, dead grass. Testing and amending the soil before planting your lawn can help you avoid costly lawn mishaps by making your lawn the ideal growing environment before the grass is planted.


When leveling and grading land for a lawn, make sure you slope the land away from the house to avoid flooding the house with sprinkler runoff. Before leveling and grading, get digging permission and information about the locations of underground cables in your yard to avoid digging up cables and causing an unintentional outage.


Agriculture labs at colleges and universities often offer soil analysis services.

Keywords: soil amendment, soil analysis, lawn care

About this Author

Snowden Trouper is a freelancer who has been writing since 1992. She has been published at, and eHow, frequenting topics like gardening, health, music, technology, and travel tips. Trouper holds an Associate of Arts with a journalism focus from Moorpark College and a Bachelor of Arts in the arts from California State University San Marcos.