How to Prepare Dirt for Grass Seed
Starting and maintaining a lawn or grassy area in your yard provides you with a green environment and a place to relax on pleasant spring days. In order to grow grass in your yard, you must first prepare the dirt in which you are planting it. Preparing the ground for lawn growing doesn't require much time or effort, and in as little as two weeks, lush green grass will sprout from the ground.
Choose the area in your yard in which you intend to plant the grass. Depending on your region, the amount of light the area receives makes a difference. For example, living in a dry, hot desert climate makes it harder to grow and maintain attractive grass, so a slightly shaded area will likely achieve better results.
Turn the ground in the area using a hand tiller or a garden hoe. Make sure to dig down approximately 2 to 3 inches while turning the ground and break apart all of the larger chunks.
Spread equal amounts of peat moss and potting soil over the surface, measuring approximately 1 pound per square foot.
Use the rake to mix the turned earth with the soil and peat moss thoroughly. Mix it together, and rake back and forth across the area to assure that the ingredients have mixed into a light, fluffy soil. The fluffiness and lightness of the lawn soil ensures proper drainage for the grass.
Fertilize the prepared soil if necessary. Some commercial potting and gardening soils come with fertilizers incorporated with the soil contents, especially if you choose a specially formulated soil for lawns.
Prepare A New Seed Bed For Grass
Remove any debris from the lawn area. Take a soil sample to determine the soil pH or acidity and the nutrient qualities of the soil. Lawn grass grows best at a soil pH between 6.8 and 7.2. Break up the top 8 inches of the soil with a power tiller. Till the soil until it's loose and crumbly, but avoid overtilling that results in soil with a powder-like consistency and doesn't allow proper water penetration. In alkaline soil with a high pH, you can spread peat moss to increase acidity. Follow the soil test recommendations for the fertilizer type and amount or make a general application of 5 pounds of 10-20-20 fertilizer over every 500 square feet of lawn.
- Potting soil
- Peat moss
- Grass seed
- Garden hoe (or tiller)
- Garden rake