When faced with the prospect of reclaiming a neglected or ravaged lawn, examine the grass carefully. If coarse grasses and weeds or mosses dominate, lawn renovation may not be possible. In this case you must replace the old lawn and make a new one. Your Weed Man can advise you and put you in touch with a reputable landscape firm in your area.
If, however, there is a predominance of finer grasses interspersed with areas of coarser grasses and weeds, renovation can be carried out.
You can begin renovations either early in the spring or in mid - late August simply follow these steps:
- cut the lawn to 2 inches.
- rake lawn vigorously with a garden rake to remove dead material and debris.
- spread approximately 1" of screened topsoil over entire area to be renovated using a shovel and then the back of a rake to level it out.
- apply a starter fertilizer, one with a high amount of phosphorous; or high middle number. (make sure to read and follow the instructions on the bag)
- spread high quality grass seed at a rate of 4.4 lbs (2 kg) per 200 sq feet (20 m²) with either a broadcast or drop spreader.
- with the back of a garden rake mix the soil, seed and fertilizer.
- lightly roll lawn.
- water as needed to keep area moist for 3-4 weeks. (you should begin to see the first plants germinate in about 4 days, and see some real improvements in 4-6 weeks.)
Some weed control products can damage young grass seedlings so make sure you advise your Weed Man of your renovation practices.
Bare patches arising from any number of causes can be easily repaired by following these steps:
- Rake out dead grass. If the patch was caused by fungus or disease also remove 4 inches of soil to reduce the chance of reinfection.
- Mix a 4.4 lbs (2 kg) package of high quality turfgrass seed with approximately 1 cu ft (20 L) of topsoil. Spread this mixture into the area and gently pat down with the back of a shovel or with your feet.
- Keep the area moist for 2-3 weeks with light and frequent applications of water.
- Mark areas so that traffic is kept away from the new seedlings. Also, note that some weed control products may damage newly seeded grass plants. Advise your Weed Man of these areas before he comes to do your spring or fall weed control.
Whether you are renovating your whole lawn or just seeding a few small spots, success will depend on careful watering practices while the new shoots are germinating and sound turf maintenance practices once the grass has grown in.
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