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Ground/Site Preparation 

Soil test, soil test by post, soil analysis

Ground preparation is often confused with soil preparation. Ground preparation involves removing unwanted non organic materials such as bricks, plasterboard, stones, concrete, polystyrene etc. and may include soil preparation. Unwanted materials provide no growing benefit to the plants (grass) that are intended to be grown in the soil, and may in fact inhibit healthy growth.

Ground preparation is generally required on a new plot of land after a new dwelling has been constructed, but it may also be needed when starting a new lawn by total renovation of an old lawn.
Here are the stages of Ground Preparation recommended for a new lawn...

Ground/Site Preparation - Leveling the Plot.

This is the first requirement, and generally involves a machine to perform a lot of the hard work. Depending on the size, a digger, bull dozer, rotovator or by hand.

Removal of all foreign matter.

Dig a normal garden fork down to its full depth to test the entire area to be planted. If it it does not hit any obstacles then all is ok. If not then remove the unwanted material. Remember warm season grass roots will try and go down to a depth of over 1 meter.

Planting trees and shrubs.

Gardeners walking over a newly planted lawn will soon destroy it. Plant the trees, shrubs and flower borders first.

Marking out the borders, rockeries, building patios, building swimming pool.

Basically laying the lawn should be the last job undertaken.

Laying topsoil.

This is the last ground prep process. Remember, an alternative to laying topsoil is to correct the existing soil by adding organic material etc. But if the level is wrong or needs correcting, then a good topsoil needs to be added.

But whether topsoil is purchased or the existing soil is improved, it is recommended that fertiliser is added to improve the nutrients in the soil, ready for the new lawn.

Soil Preparation.

Rake, level, tamp down, remove stones and clumps of clay. Basically the soil needs to be firm but not compacted. As a guide, if the soil is too loose it will not produce a properly shaped plug with the plugging tool, and will leave boot impressions if walked on. 

Lots of water

Basically when you plant plugs or sow seed (which means you are going to start watering the plot) the last thing you want is to see is rogue grass and/or weeds starting to grow. So water now when it is possible to kill the unwanted species with "Total Clear" as when the new lawn is getting established, it's unwise to apply herbicides.

And finally a soil pH test in conjunction with a composition test is always recommended to ensure a good pH neutral lawn soil of the right consistancy.

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More details are in our Customised Lawn Repair Project.

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