Preparing Your Soil
Whether you choose to lay sod or sow seeds, your soil must first be properly prepared. Here’s how to do it.
Weeding & Cultivating Soil
Kill all perennial weeds using a glyphosate weed killer, or you can remove them by hand. You’ll also need to get rid of any existing grass if your lawn has been in poor shape.
To get your grass seed or sod to root deeply and require less watering, you’ll need 8-12 inches of well-drained topsoil, as well as properly drained subsoil. If portions of your topsoil are too shallow, the grass will dry out more quickly and form brown patches. So it’s best to buy enough topsoil to maintain the proper depth.
For the instant look of a lush, green lawn, you can lay sod, although it can be costly. While sod may appear to be ready for use, it needs about eight weeks to take root. Reputable sellers grow their sod in fields, and “lift” it to order. In most cases, you should be able to choose between ornamental sod, which is composed of fine grasses, and utility-grade sod, which has a mix of durable rye grasses. You may also be able to order specialty sod, but it’s more expensive.
Seeding is a longer-term approach to getting a green lawn, but it’s less expensive than purchasing sod. The variety of grasses available on the market allows you to get exactly what you want, however it could take up to one year before the lawn can withstand heavy traffic.
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