Careful soil preparation can make the difference between a green, healthy lawn and a poorly grown one. Timing is key — start several weeks before you intend to lay turf or sow seed to give the soil enough time to settle.
gardening fork or spade
Preparation for laying a lawn or sowing grass seed should begin a few weeks before you plan to sow seed or lay turf. Use a fork or spade to turn over the soil to a depth of 12 inches. Remove any weeds or stones.
Leveling is important on small lawn areas, but you may want to leave gentle undulations on large, informal sites because natural contours can look attractive.
Once the soil has been leveled, it should be lightly firmed down to knock out large air pockets and prevent the soil level from dropping too much later. Do this by treading on it with your feet or by using a light roller.
Allow the soil to settle for a few weeks before raking it again, this time using a fine-toothed rake. It will need to be raked to a finer tilth for seed sowing than for laying turf. Remove any weeds that may have appeared.