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Preparing ground for new lawns9 August 2011
Preparing ground for new lawns I find that with gardening, getting ahead is half the battle won. So this week I'm preparing the ground in my new bare front garden where I want to lay some grass this autumn.
The soil has not been touched for at least thirty years, so the initially digging will give the soil time to settle after such a disturbance. First, all weeds need to be cleared away - leaving this long a gap between prep and sowing/turfing will enable me to pull out any new weeds that spring up before the new lawn goes down. By working the soil now, I can also check the drainage to get an idea of which turf will be best suited for the area.
There are many different grass seeds and turfs on the market to suit most conditions. Fine textured, low maintenance and hardwearing turfs are just a few options. Then there are seed mixes best suited to shady areas and others for full sun - the list is large. After weeding and removing any stones and rubble, dig the soil over, if it's a large area you made need to use a rotavator.
Once dug, add in organic matter like manure or leaf mould, heavier soils can be improved by adding a coarse gritty sand. The last step at this stage is to ensure the ground is level. Preparing in advance gives you the chance to check the soil level numerous times and correct. If the soil has settled unevenly over a large area add a good topsoil to achieve the perfect level surface. In September we'll revisit the site and show you the next stages in laying or sowing your new lawn.