Minggu, 16 Agustus 2009

[] 8 Steps to Preparing Your New Soil for Planting

has posted a new item, '8 Steps to Preparing Your New Soil for Planting'

Before you start planting your new lawn, you need to take the necessary steps
to make your new soil as healthy as possible so that future plants and grasses
will be able to grow healthily.Here are eight steps to get your soil ready for
planting.1. Decide how big your lawn will beThis is the first step and is very
important, as many aspects of lawn care require this information. Get a
measuring tape and calculate the size of your new lawn.2. Do a soil testSend a
soil sample to a soil test lab for testing. The result is much more accurate.
Basically, you need to know the soil composition and its pH level, which range
from 1 to 14. The pH level measure how acidic or alkaline your soil is and for
most soil, a pH level of 6.5 to 7.0 is considered ideal and balanced.3.
Adjusting your soil pHMost of the time, your new soil pH is likely to be off
balance. If the test result showed that it is more acidic, you can add limestone
to reduce the acidity. On the other hand, if it is too alkaline, you can add
sulfur to bring the soil back into balance.4. Improve your soil textureIf your
soil is too sandy, it will not be able to retain water very well. On the other
hand, clay soil will be able to retain water very well but due to poor aeration,
the water takes a very long time to reach the root level. The ideal soil type is
loamy which provide good aeration and water retention capacity. You can add
organic matters such as compost to change the texture of your soil. Organic
matters can help to loosen and aerate clay soil. They can also help to improve
the water holding capacity of sandy soil.5. Add starter fertilizerA starter
fertilizer is one that you have to work into the soil before planting. It is
usually higher in phosphorous than nitrogen and will help the root system to be
established in the soil. Adding more phosphorous at this stage is appropriate as
phosphorous does not move into the soil with water easily. However, if your soil
test indicate that there is already enough phosphorous in the soil, you can
switch to another fertilizer with a higher nitrogen concentration.6. Dig them
into the soilOnce you spread the organic matters, the lime or sulfur and starter
fertilizer, you will have to use a rototiller to dig all these stuffs into the
top four to six inches of the soil. Dig in a crisscross pattern, which ensure
that all the materials will be well incorporated into the soil. This digging
pattern also breaks up soil clods and big clumps so that your soil is smooth and
well aerated.7. Level the soilYou can use a rake to make your soil smooth and
even. You want to get the soil to the right level for sowing seeds or laying
sod. If you intend to sow seeds, the soil should be on the same level as your
surrounding walk paths or edging. If you are taking the sod route, ensure that
the soil level is about 1 inch lower to accommodate the sod thickness.Pull the
rake in a back and forth fashion over a designated area until the soil looks
smooth. Then flip the rake over and try to make the soil smoother. As you rake,
move backward so that you do not leave your footprint on the new soil.8. Let the
weeds grow firstThere may be weed seeds in your new soil now. Water the new soil
and let the weeds grow first. Once the weeds appear, uproot them so that they
will dry out and die. You may have to do these a couple of time but this process
will greatly reduce the number of weeds growing in your lawn in the future.All
new lawns begin with healthy soil. Apply and refine these eight steps to get
your new soil ready for planting and you will have a green and lush lawn in the
very near future.Jack Greenwood is the webmaster of GreenLawnCareTips.com which
provide information on lawn care and easy soil maintenance tips. Sign up for
your free 7-part Green Lawn Care mini course at http://greenlawncaretips.com

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