Soil Preparation Guide

Soil Preparation Guide

The success of your lawn is dependent upon its foundation: the soil. When soils are properly prepared, plant growth abounds and maintenance is reduced. All soils will benefit from increased organic matter and nutrients. The addition of organic matter results in improved drainage and aeration of heavy clay soils. Sandy soils benefit from increased water retention and biological activity.

The soil amendment we recommend is a nitro-humus redwood mix. The preferred rate is a two-inch layer of soil amendment. The minimum application would be a one-inch layer.


To obtain the proper amount of amendment, use the form below:

To use this form you must first find the square footage of the area you want to cover. To determine this, multiply length times width (example: 15 x 20 = 300 square feet). Then you decide how deeply you want to spread the material (such as two inches). If you have odd-shaped areas, break them down into smaller areas you can figure out and then add the totals together.

It is best to thoroughly wet the ground two or three days before rototilling. This will cause the ground to soften and make the job easier. Always allow enough drying time so that if the ground is walked upon, no material will cling to your shoes.
The best kind of tiller to rent is one that has the cutting blades behind the wheels. Rototill once to break up the soil. Now spread the soil amendment over the area and rototill again. Rototill to a depth of six inches. Next, give the area a rough grade. Put in your sprinklers and then give the area its final grade. The finished grade should be ¾ inch below walks, driveways or patios. If there is extra dirt, pull it to the center of the lawn area. Roll soil to settle and firm the surface.
Now apply Valley Sod Pre-Plant Fertilizer (16-20-0) to promote vigorous root growth, and then lay your sod.