Preparing the Soil
Step One: Know What You’re Working With
The last thing you want to do is get elbow deep in yard work, only to find out you don’t have all the materials you need to finish the job. If you do enough preparation before you even get started, it will make the job a lot easier – and save unnecessary trips to the nursery.
The first thing you need to do is measure your lawn area. All you’ll need for this step is a pencil, a pad, and a tape measure. Simply sketch out your existing lawn area, and then use the tape measure to get exact dimensions. You don’t need to get too technical; simply get the length, width, and account for any unusual features.
Don’t worry if you had trouble with calculating dimensions in school – this is just a simple length times width measurement. Most people have either square or rectangular yards, making this even simpler. If that’s the case for you, just measure both dimensions, multiply the two, and you have everything you need to know. For example, if your yard is 20 feet long and 10 feet wide, you need to cover 200 square feet.
If you have an oval lawn, or something irregular about it, this complicates matters a little, but not much. First, you’ll have to measure down the middle of the lawn to find out the length. Then, measure the width in about 5 different spots (every 5 feet or so). Add up all the widths, divide the total by 5, and use that number as your guide.
Once you know the square footage you’re working with, we recommend adding about 2-3% extra just to be on the safe side. This will come in handy once you get started, as you won’t have to worry about stopping during the job to get more supplies.
Now that you have a measurement to work with, you can just give the Park Avenue Turf Office the figure when you call, and we’ll be able to calculate how many rolls of sod you need.
Step Two: Preparing the Soil
Once you have everything you need, it’s time to get your existing lawn ready for its facelift. We recommend starting by rototilling (or using a spade) to a depth of 4-6 inches. You can also take this time to add 1-2 inches of high-quality compost, gypsum, or soil rejuvenates, to give your topsoil a little boost.
This is done so that you can start with the best possible topsoil, which is half the battle when it comes to lawn quality. If you think your topsoil is already in good shape (meaning a good, loamy, rich soil), you don’t have to add anything at this time. Rototilling or spading is still a necessity, however.
By breaking up the topsoil a little bit, you’re going to give your new grass plenty of space to put down roots. The deeper the root mass you can get on your sod, the better; this is will help your lawn to get all the nutrients available, as well as help it retain moisture better.
Rototilling will definitely save you some time and sweat, but renting a rototiller isn’t necessary, especially for smaller lawns. You can get the same results with a spade or shovel. Ultimately, all you’re trying to do here is boost the mixing process.
Ready to Work
After you’ve done these two steps, your lawn will be ready for its new sod. These two steps are essential for healthy grass, so don’t skimp on time or effort. By laying down a solid base for your lawn now, you’ll save yourself a lot of time, sweat, and money down the road.