Water Blog

Successful New Lawns

5Greeley residents and businesses must get a variance when planting new seed or sod to water the lawn outside of the watering restrictions. If a variance is not granted, residents must follow Greeley’s watering schedule or risk getting violations and fines. With the Water Budget, you may also face exceeding your water budget and paying significantly higher rates.  Variances must be obtained when landscaping a new home/commercial property or planting seed or sod in an established yard.


Greeley requires water customers to prepare the soil with compost (organic matter) to acquire a lawn watering variance. Soils on the Front Range are mainly composed of minerals and lacking organic material.  A good soil requires approximately 5 percent organic material incorporated in to the native soil.  When soil is properly prepared with organic matter before planting, the landscape needs less water. Properly prepared soil retains water and diminishes runoff from the lawn onto paved surfaces.  Soil in Greeley is mostly clay with pockets of sandy soil.  Both sand and clay are minerals that lack organic matter.  Compost is a mixture that consists of decayed organic matter and is used for conditioning soil. Compost promotes microbiological activity in soils necessary for plant healthy growth. Topsoil or amended topsoil is not an approved amendment for the variance because is doesn’t contain enough organic material and is basically just ground up rock.

Steps to a healthy and successful lawn project:

  1. 1Measure your yard. Using a tape measure or wheel, measure your yard for area.  You will need this measurement to purchase your seed or sod and to calculate the amount of compost needed; Measure the length and width of the area that you will be planting.  Add 10 percent to that number for good measure.

  2. Purchase your seed or sod and compost; keep your receipts.

  3. Call 811 to get utility line locates (allow at least a week for this to be done).

  4. Flag any existing sprinkler heads so you don’t hit them with the rototiller.

  5. 5 -Line up the delivery of sod and compost. If you are doing a lawn larger than 500 square feet (sf) you will want to purchase your compost in bulk from a nursery or bulk landscape supply yard.

  6. Line up a rototiller if you do not have one. 

  7. Even out the surface of the lawn area and remove rocks and large sticks.  Leaves and organics can be left to till in.

  8. Spread compost at a rate of 4 cubic yards (cy) evenly across the surface of the lawn.  It will be 1 to 1.3 inches deep.

  9. 10Rototill the lawn area to incorporate the soil and compost.

  10. Rake smooth.

  11. Plant grass. 
    Seed:  Spread seed evenly across the surface and gently rake in to cover the seed.  Some like to divide the seed in half and distribute one direction and then spread the rest while walking perpendicular to the first distribution

    11Sod:  Lay sod in a brick pattern across any slopes, making sure to abut the edges of the lawn snuggly against one another without overlapping them. Use a good knife to cut around heads and to fit into your space.

  12. Water the new seed or sod.  You will more frequently for the first couple of weeks but for short cycles. See watering new lawns  for more details on weaning your new lawn.  

Contact Us

Greeley Water and Sewer

1001 11th Ave, 2nd Floor
Greeley, CO 80631

Monday - Friday 8am - 5pm

970-350-9811 tel
970-350-9805 fax

Water Conservation

970-336-4168 for Water Budget


Water 7am-3pm 970-350-9320
Sewer 7am-3pm 970-350-9322
after hours970-616-6260

Other Numbers

billing970-350-9811 (dial 2 for billing clerk)
start or stop service970-350-9811 (dial 2 for billing clerk)
water taste or odor970-350-9836
water pressure970-350-9320
water restrictions & violations970-336-4134
utility line locates811

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