How to start a lawn from seed
Prepare the soil
The soil is a storehouse for all the elements plants need to grow: nutrients, organic matter, air, and water. Soil also provides support for plant roots. When properly prepared and cared for, soil can be improved each year and will continue to grow plants forever. Uncared for soil will soon become suited only for growing weeds.
Step 2 Add compost
Healthy soil is rich in compost. Composting is an ongoing investment in your garden. It’s like a savings account. You add money – or in this case livestock manure, straw, grass clippings, and weeds. As a result, your compost grows and builds interest and pays dividends. Your dividend is that dark, rich soil conditioner we call compost
TEST THE SOIL
First things first: do a soil test. Knowing more about your soil will help you to determine what your soil is lacking or has too much of so you can adjust accordingly.
You can purchase an inexpensive soil testing kit from a garden store which will give you some general information. Keep in mind that these tests are not as accurate and don’t include as much info as ones done in a lab.
You can also contact your county extension office. Most extension offices provide low-cost soil testing. These soil tests will let you know your soil’s pH, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potash levels as well as the level of organic matter.
Adjust soil nutrients
Another thing your soil test will tell you is the nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium levels in your soil. You often see numbers with NPK listed on fertilizers and plant supplements.
Nitrogen is essential for plant growth and photosynthesis, while phosphorus is vital for flower and fruit production. Potassium helps plants build good root systems and fight off diseases.
Apply an appropriate fertilizer to address any nutrient deficiencies in your soil. For instance, if your soil test says you lack nitrogen, you’ll want to apply a fertilizer that’s high in that element.
Now it’s time to put that soil test to work. The soil’s pH tells you the level of acidity and alkalinity in your earth. Why is pH important? Your pH level tells you how available the nutrients in the soil are for your plants. Some plants are particular to what the soil pH is.
For example, say I want to grow potatoes. Potatoes need a lower pH than many other vegetables. They do best in slightly acidic soil of 5.2 – 6.0.
amendment Potatoes that are grown in higher pH levels are more susceptible to scab and other diseases. Knowing this, I could add organic sulfur to the area of the garden where I plan to put potatoes.