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Starting a New Lawn From Scratch

What’s the best way to grow an entire lawn from scratch? The large backyard of our new house in Tooele, Utah is barren, but I’d rather not install that much sod.

Soil preparation and weed control are the keys to success whether starting a lawn from seed or sod. Kill the existing weeds. A total vegetation killer will kill the tops and roots. If you prefer a non-chemical approach, cultivate monthly for the first year and start your lawn the following season. Then take a soil test to find out what amendments and fertilizer you need to add to grow a healthy lawn. Your local Extension service can help with that. If soil test results aren't available work 2 to 4 inches of compost into the top 6 inches of soil and use a starter fertilizer at the rate recommended on the bag. Some homeowners sod the more public or high use areas for quick results and save money by seeding the back yard. Be sure to keep the soil moist so the sod will take root and the grass seed will sprout, grow, and fill in before the weeds can take control.


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