In the preparation of a lawn area the problem of correctly fertilizing this area is an important one. On the less fertile and poor types of soil a liberal application of well-rotted manure together with lime should be spread. Manure should be used at the rate of one cubic yard for each five hundred square feet and lime should be used at the rate of between twelve and twentyfive pounds to each 1,000 square feet. On the heavy types of soil this manure should be of a light texture containing sufficient straw, while on the sandy soil this manure should be of a heavy texture containing a quantity of humus. If the preparation of a lawn area is undertaken at least one year previous to the time that the actual seeding of the lawn is to be done then the heavy types of soil can be made more fertile and more porous by the development, during each spring and fall, of a cover crop of clover, cow peas, vetch, or rye. The deep roots of these plants and the frequent cultivation caused by plowing them under will do much to produce a mellow and friable condition of the soil. On the very heavy types of soil the frequent mistake is made of spreading a heavy coating of well-rotted manure over the surface of the proposed lawn area and plowing this under to a depth of ten inches to twelve inches. On the average lawn this is a great mistake, and a considerable waste of time and money. Such lawns should be plowed thoroughly, the soil made loose, and the surface pulverized as much as is practical with a disc harrow. A heavy coating of manure at the rate of one cubic yard to one and one-half cubic yards to each five hundred square feet should then be applied and harrowed into the soil. By this method the available food in the fertilizer is within reach of normal root growth of grass while under the other method such portions of the manure as are plowed to a considerable depth (ten inches to twelve inches at least) are beyond the reach of normal root growth of lawn grasses and soon become imbedded in a heavy soil impervious to root growth.
On the average lawn a top-dressing of manure at the rate of one-half to three-fourths cubic yards to five hundred square feet, of sheep manure at the rate of five pounds for each one hundred square feet or of bone meal at the rate of five pounds for each two hundred and fifty square feet, should be applied and raked into the surface of the lawn. Manure, whenever used, especially in the preparation of lawns in the spring, should be well rotted in order to avoid so far as possible the presence of persistent weed seeds (such weeds as grow after the lawn is seeded). Bone meal and the types of dried manures commonly purchased on the market in bags do not bring into the lawn this objectionable feature. On the other hand, such concentrated fertilizers do not provide the humus which may be almost as essential as the food contained in the fertilizers.