Improve soil quality

You rarely think of your yard as a garden, yet it is — a garden of grass. When you want to put in a new lawn, now's your chance to supply that fertile, well-drained ground that all gardens love so well. Lay down plenty of organic matter (such as compost, leaf mold [composted tree and shrub leaves], or well-rotted manure). Add topsoil, too, but only if you can get a weed-free batch. You can mix these goodies with the native soil if it's not dreadful. Otherwise, provide at least 6 to 8 inches of the good stuff, the depth to which grass roots generally grow.

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