Soil/Surface Preparation

We are often asked if we do soil/surface preparation (earth work)? We do, and we call it landscape services. That means we assist from the topsoil up, completing the landscape elements of your residential, commercial, industrial or roadside project including soil supply and prep, sod or hydroseed

There is a distinct disadvantage in poor soil/surface preparation. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE the true value of good and proper soil and surface preparation. One of the major mistakes made is not preparing the soil or surface correctly for any land reclamation.

 

Most land reclamation services require a fine textured, loose soil surface, rock/debris free, at final grade and contoured according to your desired plans. So the small roots of the seed embryo or sod can penetrate and take hold.

We recommend a soil test before any soil/surface preparation is done to determine and ensure the your soil has all nutrients necessary to support germination, establishment, and sustainability. A soil test will provide recommendations and nutrient requirements for good root growth. www.agtest.com/forms/lawngarden.pdf.

HOW IS SURFACE PREPARATION PRICED?

The costs of soil/surface preparation is regional so giving accurate pricing for a specific area is not possible, but keep in mind that depending on your area the costs could vary wildly. The price for the job will be dependent upon the specifics of the job. ( Accessibility, Slope/Grade, Soil Type, Soil Requirements, Erosion Control, Sediment Control, etc.) 

 

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME?

Depends on your climate. The ideal time in Southern Ontario is during the seasonal periods when the ground is not frozen or snow covered. Spring is widely accepted as the best time of year because it will provide enough time for the vegetation or grass to establish before winter sets in.

 

WHAT PREPARATION IS REQUIRED?

Preparing the ground for seed or sod is an important step in ensuring a beautiful bed of grass. This phase is sometimes overlooked or rushed, but not preparing the soil (Seedbed) correctly is one of the most common and major mistakes made. It is essential and critical to ensure that the seedbed is optimized for the hydroseeding slurry, grass seed or sod. Regardless of the seeding method chosen hydroseeding, broadcast seeding or sodding there is not much difference. Loose, level, debris-free soil creates a foundation for good germination, establishment and sustainability.

 

The extent of the soil (seedbed) preparation depends upon your soil test results. Most seeds require a fine textured, loose soil surface for the small roots of the seed embryo to penetrate and take hold. You can have the finest seed and best fertilizer, but poor soil (Seedbed) preparation can lead to inadequate results.

OVERSEEDING HYDROSEEDING APPLICATION:     Overseeding is a method of seeding over the top of an existing lawn. As your lawn continues to age the production rate of new grass blades begins to slow down, and in this weakened state, weeds can start to take over. The main reasons for overseeding lawns are:  The lawn has become thin, brown, patch and/or weed infested. It is essential that the area you plan to overseed is properly prepped & ready before seeding. The basic guidelines for preparation are:

  • Cutting down all existing grass, vegetation as short as possible

  • Removal of all rocks, debris and loosening of the compacted soil so the seed’s embryo can germinate and have the small roots take hold and grow deep. In order for the seed to germinate it must be in direct contact with the loosened soil. For large areas a quad or lawn tracker with a set of harrows can be used to loosen up the soil. After you harrow you can use a piece of chain link fence or turn the harrows upside down to remove the grooves and make it smooth and manicured. You need to ensure that the topsoil is not crusted or hard packed. Be sure the surface is free of any debris, large rocks, leaves and sticks. This allows the seed’s embryo to germinate and have the small roots take hold and grow deep. In order for the seed to germinate it must be in direct contact with the loosened soil.

NEW HYDROSEEDING APPLICATION:        Is a method of seeding over 2-4 inches of bare loose quality topsoil. it is essential that the area you plan to seed is properly prepped & ready before seeding. The basic guidelines for preparation are:

  • Remove any existing grass or weeds. This can be done by using a machine or by hand.

  • Break up the top 10-15cm (4 – 6 inches) of soil using a tiller. If topsoil is brought in, use a minimum of 2-4 inches

  • Remove any debris such as larger stones or clumps of clay.

  • Final grade & drainage must be completed before spreading new top soil or seeding. Then level, roll and rake the area so the first inch is loose and fluffy. For large areas a quad or lawn tracker with a set of harrows can be used to loosen up the soil. After you harrow you can use a piece of chain link fence or turn the harrows upside down to remove the grooves and make it smooth and manicured. You need to ensure that the topsoil is not crusted or hard packed. Be sure the surface is free of any debris, large rocks, leaves and sticks. This allows the seed’s embryo to germinate and have the small roots take hold and grow deep. In order for the seed to germinate it must be in direct contact with the loosened soil.

 

SODDING:     Whether you choose to handle your sod installation yourself or have your sod professionally installed, it is essential that the area you plan to sod is properly prepped & ready before the new sod arrives. Beautiful sod can be ruined if it’s left sitting waiting for soil to be spread, or it is subjected to poor preparation or installation practices. The basic guidelines for the prep work needed to help achieve a thriving healthy lawn for years to come are:

  • Remove any existing grass or weeds. This can be done by using a machine or by hand.

  • Break up the top 10-15cm (4 – 6 inches) of soil using a tiller.

  • Remove any debris such as larger stones or clumps of clay. If weeds have grown in they must be removed.

  • Final grade & drainage must be completed before spreading new top soil or installing sod. Then level, roll and rake the area so the first inch is loose and fluffy. For large areas a quad or lawn tracker with a set of harrows can be used to loosen up the soil. After you harrow you can use a piece of chain link fence or turn the harrows upside down to remove the grooves and make it smooth and manicured. You need to ensure that the topsoil is not crusted or hard packed. Be sure the surface is free of any debris, large rocks, leaves and sticks. This allows the seed’s embryo to germinate and have the small roots take hold and grow deep. In order for the seed to germinate it must be in direct contact with the loosened soil.

 

Is a method of seeding over 2-4 inches of bare loose quality topsoil

  • NEW PREPARATION:     Existing vegetation, rocks and debris are removed and there is 2-4 inches of bare loose quality soil surface. If topsoil is brought in, use a minimum of 2-4 inches, then level, roll and rake the area so the first inch is loose and fluffy. For large areas a quad or lawn tracker with a set of harrows can be used to loosen up the soil. After you harrow you can use a piece of chain link fence or turn the harrows upside down to remove the grooves and make it smooth and manicured. You need to ensure that the topsoil is not crusted or hard packed. Be sure the surface is free of any debris, large rocks, leaves and sticks. 

  • Another item to consider is underground sprinklers or irrigation systems.