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Preparing Soil For Grass Seed

We've just started renting a piece of land that's been totally overgrown for many, many years and had it cleared / made level ish.

I want to seed it but the soil is quite hard and compact and using a rake to try and break it up would be there for many a year to come.

I suggested to the groundsman that cleared it I get a rotivator and he said I really wouldn't want to bring up what was under the surface of the soil and would end up having to level it again.

He suggested hiring a sit on roller .. 1.5 ton and totally flattening it and then just putting the seed straight on that.

Does anyone have any thoughts on that and how it'd take or alternative ideas as to how else I could prepare it that isn't too back breaking ... it's a big area of about 450 sq mtrs.


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,053

    You'll need to get a decent tilth for the seed, so it would need a bit of forking to get it loosened up. I'm always surprised when rolling is recommended, because if the soil's a bit heavy, it'll just compact it even more. Groundsmen probably have a slightly different way of doing things too - it's not  the same as a domestic garden!

    You can add some compost and grit to help make it more friable, but I think you'll have to bite the bullet and get forking! Once it's loosened up, you then need to rake to get it more friable, removing any big clumps of soil and stones. Then firm down with your feet and lightly rake again before sowing the seed. That's the usual process for seed sowing.

    Does it have to be a perfect lawn? A big area is always harder to get right, but once it's sown and greening up, it's easier to sort any imperfections. Good time of year to start doing it though  image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

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