Soil Preparation

When it comes to laying your lawn there are certain things you must do before the process can begin. More often than not this can be seen as the heavy work but it is worthwhile in carrying out this work, as it makes for a more successful lawn and also reduces the amount of work you have to carry out once the lawn is in place.

Your lawn will need four things in order to grow to its potential best, these are: air, water, nutrients and sunlight. With these four things your lawn will flourish and you should have a beautiful stretch of grass all year round.

Soil needs to be prepared in such a way that it encourages the lawn to grow and deeply root itself within the soil so that continued growth is a must with as little work as possible.


One of the first things you should do before laying your lawn is to dig over the soil in your garden. Digging the soil and turning it over allows the soil to breathe and also allows nutrients and moisture, which may have previously sank to the bottom, to be brought back to the surface to allow that first growing spate to move on apace.

It is recommend by garden experts that you have a minimum depth of 10cm (4 inches) or an ideal depth of around 15cm (6 inches) of soil to grow your lawn on. However if your have soil deeper than this then so much the better.

All soils should be free of debris – stones, any old garden waste not bio-degradable – large clumps of soil and perennial weeds, which might have taken a hold on your soil. Where weeds are concerned it is not just a case of removing the heads and stalks but a further deep down excavation should be performed so that the roots can be removed, thus preventing regrowth once your lawn is in place. Weeds are one of the main causes of a lawn not successfully embedding itself as the weeds not only drain nutrients and moisture from the earth but they also strangle the roots of the grass as they grow themselves.


Digging – or turning over the soil – is a must before laying a turf lawn or planting a seed-based lawn. Once the soil has been turned over and loosened up it can then be compacted giving it a flat appearance and making sure that any debris that has been missed rises to the surface so that you can remove it.

The best way to do this is to walk back and forth over the soil and then walk over it at right angles – forming a criss cross pattern back to where you started from. This may sound like a time consuming practice but it is one of the best ways of ensuring a flat surface on which to lay your lawn and also the best way of making sure the soil is filled with air and has evenly distributed nutrients and moisture.

Once you have done this it is then time to gently rake over the surface of the soil until it has reached a satisfactory degree of flatness.

It is also worth looking at the level of drainage available to your area of garden upon which you are placing a lawn. If it is on a slope then it is perhaps worth looking at incorporating a narrow drainage channel to encourage access water to run away from the lawn and also from your house. This will cut down the chances of flooding especially in some of the United Kingdom’s rainier months.

A gentle watering with a watering can or fine spray hose will ensure that the soil is moist and once this has been completed you can then start to lay your lawn.

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