Step 2 - Ground and Soil Preparation

guideGrass obtains three of the four essential factors (air, water and nutrients) from the soil; many soils are less than suitable for growing grass. Some soils contain too much clay, which result in compaction, because air and water cannot penetrate down to the roots they smother and die.

While some people don't fully understand the importance of good soils for their lawn, many believe, they can save time and money by ignoring the need to improve their lawn's soil. Failing to improve the soil structure before planting is only creating a greater continual investment of money and time, that will never return its value as fully as preparing the soil properly before planting any turf.

Many soils have inadequate pH levels (degree of acidity or alkalinity), resulting in it being too high or too low for optimum grass growth. A sandy loam, with a pH of between 5.0 to 7.0 is the best soil for producing beautiful, healthy lawns. Unfortunately, this soil mixture is seldom found on any property after building has gone on. Acidic pH 5.0 and below can be improved with the addition of lime. Alkaline soils pH 7.5 and higher can be improved with the addition of gypsum or sulphur.

If you are starting on an area with no existing lawn be sure to remove rubble, weeds and any other offensive objects. If you have an existing lawn or weeds, it may need to be poisoned prior to preparation. This process can take sometime but is imperative when a more dominant lawn than the one you are introducing has existed. To thoroughly eradicate strong species, two applications of Roundup/Glyphosate non-residual spray, spaced 10 days apart may be necessary. See your local nurseryman for advice and always follow the manufacturer's instructions. After the suggested waiting time remove the dead surface.

Clay type soils should have Gypsum added at the rate of 1kg to 1m2 plus medium grade sand to a depth of 50mm. Spread evenly over the area and thoroughly rotary hoe or dig into the top 100mm of clay base. In a poor soil situation it is essential to replace or rejuvenate the base to a depth of 100-110mm.

Rake and lightly roll the area. High spots should be evened off and low ones filled in until the area is firm and level. A simple gauge of firmness is that footprints should not be seen more than 10mm deep. Final levels should be approximately 25mm below pathways/boundaries if you want to match up to existing levels.

We strongly advise a pre-planting fertiliser be applied. Our Starter Fertilisers has been designed to go on top of the prepared ground and under the turf at the time of laying. It will not burn you new turf. All fertilisers, additional products can be delivered free of charge with your turf order.

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