Use a rotary tiller to turn the soil until there are no big clumps or patches of packed earth. Use a fiberglass-handled shovel, which is less likely than wood to split or snap, to dig out rocks.
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to remove rocks and to disperse sand and compost
rents for $50 to $75 per day
Walk-behind broadcast spreader,
for applying lime and fertilizer; rents for $10 to $20 a day
Metal garden rake
for dispersing grass seed
Plastic leaf rake,
for working grass seed into the soil
to test the pH level of the soil. Do-it-yourself soil kits are sold at garden shops and hardware stores for less than $15, or for about $10 more you can contact your local extension service for a mail-in kit that takes about two weeks for results.
to mix with existing soil; about 3 cubic yards covers 1,000 square feet
to condition soil before seeding; you’ll need 3 cubic yards per 1,000 square feet
4. PULVERIZED LIME, peat moss, or sulfur
to correct the pH of soil; you’ll need lime if your soil is acidic, peat moss if it’s slightly alkaline, and sulfur if it’s very alkaline.
5. STARTER FERTILIZER
use a 12-25-12 mix; the numbers refer to the ratio of nitrogen to phosphorus to potassium. You’ll need about 5 pounds per 1,000 square feet.
6. GRASS SEED
about 4 pounds of seed per 1,000 square feet