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When planting a new lawn take the time to fix any existing grade problems; removing the old turf, before adding amendments to the soil.

The First Rule of Grading

The first rule of grading is that the ground should slope away from your house in all directions, lowering at least two or three inches every ten feet. The maximum slope in a lawn should be twelve inches for every four feet. If the drop is greater than twelve inches you should plan to build a low retaining wall or cover the slope with a hardy ground cover or ornamental grass.

The Finished Grade

The finished grade should end up matching the level of existing fixtures—walkways, patios and established lawn. If you will be replanting with seed and adding one inch of amendments then the grade should be one inch lower than your fixtures. If you will be replanting with sod and adding one inch of amendments the grade should be about two inches lower than your fixtures.

The Proper Way to Re-Grade

The proper way to re-grade starts with removing the topsoil from the problem area(s). Now adjust the subsoil by scraping away high areas and filling in low areas. Spread 2-inches of the reserved topsoil and till down to the first 2-inches of subsoil. This will help prevent drainage problems between the two layers of soil.

Finally, spread the rest of your topsoil, which should add at least another four inches. If you need to add more topsoil consider buying a loam that is free of debris, roots, stones, weed, seeds and pesticides.

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