Soil Ecology and Research Group

last update October 7, 2001


Surface shaping to improve grass establishment.


Soil preparation is a critical yet often neglected step for restoration success. Proper site prep can reduce planting costs, improve native grass establishment, and ensure long term success. Compaction and loss of organic matter should be addressed first, and in most cases deep ripping with a chisel or subsoiler and spading in added organic matter (up to 50+ ton/ha) with a spader should be considered. Weed management should also be considered carefully and the soil weed seed bank should be exhausted by irrigation and disking cycles, solarization, or herbicides. The next step may then be soil surface modification to improve moisture capture and develop improved safe sites for seed germination and establishment.