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How to Manage Pests

The UC Guide to Healthy Lawns

Prepare the soil

How to prepare your soil
  • Make sure the old plant debris has been removed from the area.
  • Work the soil to break up any clods.
  • Check to make sure that your yard is sloped properly.
  • Till in soil amendments, if needed, and add starter fertilizer before doing the final grade on the site.
  • Several wetting and drying cycles will aid settling and help locate low spots that need filling.
  • Do the final grading with a long aluminum rake or a wooden lawn rake.
  • Maintain the slope away from the building and make sure the planting site is firm and level.
  • Irrigate the site and allow it to settle for 1 week before planting.

Next steps to completely renovating your lawn

Illustration of a 2% slope away from a building

Grade the area with a garden rake so that the soil slopes away from the house or building. A slope will allow water to drain away from building foundations or other structures; generally, a 1- to 2-percent slope away from buildings is sufficient. Avoid steep slopes or berms to reduce water waste from runoff.


Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

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