Early rototilling

John_7700July 20, 2014

I have a bad section of lawn that I want to rototil and amend the soil. I can't do the planting this year as I am away from home for long periods. Would it be harmful, or beneficial, to do the soil preparation now or in the fall and leave it sit til next spring?

Thanks, John

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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

A bad section of lawn can be fixed without rototilling. Rototilling is the worst thing you can do in preparation for new grass. Yes, I know both Scott's and Pennington recommend it, but it leads to a bumpy surface.

What's wrong with the section now?

Seeding in the spring will give you a lot of summer weeds and a weak lawn by July. You'd be way ahead if you paid a professional to deal with this now. But what it needs depends on what's wrong with it. Must repairs happen at the surface, so you might not need to bring in new seed.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 1:10PM
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morpheuspa

>>Rototilling is the worst thing you can do in preparation for new grass. Yes, I know both Scott's and Pennington recommend it, but it leads to a bumpy surface.

This. It not only leads to bumpiness (which takes ages to settle, if it ever does).

You disturb the soil layers, inject oxygen into layers that don't normally see it, and destroy microbial life that can't stand that level of oxygen. It takes a while for that to restore itself.

Tilling, because it injects oxygen, also sets off fast decay of any organic material in your soil. OM is something you want hanging around as long as possible.

While there are one or two reasons to bite the bullet and do it, this isn't one of them. Those reasons would involve having a soil test with an extraordinarily high pH in your hand, and even then it's just as easy to adjust pH without tilling.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 1:45PM
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