September is a great time of year to consider renovation or over-seeding of the lawn in our climate zone for several reasons. Usually by the end of September, all weed seeds (crabgrass, Johnson grass, nut grass, etc) have already germinated so there’s very little to compete against the new grass seed for water and nutrients. Cooler weather helps keep the soil from drying out so new grass seed germinates and fills in very quickly.
A lawn renovation is the process of removing unwanted weeds and replanting new premium grass seed into an existing lawn that is thin, dead, or filled with weeds.
Lawn renovation is usually recommended if the current turf is a variety that is frequently attacked by insects or diseases, the landscape has become increasingly shady over time, the turf has been mostly killed out by disease or drought, or you just want to have a thicker and nicer lawn.
To get it done yourself you need a desire to have a great lawn and one full day out of your weekend to invest in it. A thick, lush green lawn can be achieved with some effort and patience. Nature will do the rest!
Here are the simple steps to complete a full scale lawn renovation:
- Spot spray weeds with Round-up 3-7 days ahead.
- Mow the lawn short and bag the grass clippings.
- Power-rake and bag all thatch to provide a clean slate for new seed. (A power-rake can be rented at your local rental shop).
- Aerate (removing plugs) the lawn to oxygenate the soil, increase water and nutrient uptake. You can rent the aerator at you local rental shop too.
- Spread the seed throughout entire lawn area. Avoid getting any seed into flower beds or anywhere you don’t want for grass to grow. Use no less than 8-10 pounds of seed per 1,000 square feet of lawn. We always recommend Premium Fescue Blend.
- Verticut/powerslice the seed into soil in two directions to drill the seed into the soil. A verticutter is a special machine that you can also rent at any rental place. Go in one direction first, and then go perpendicular to that the second time for best results.
- Apply a starter fertilizer. We recommend 18-24-12. It can be found at Home Depot or any hardware or garden store. Follow instructions on the bag on the amounts to be used per square foot.
- Throw on straw throughout to control erosion and prevent seed from washing away. Now just sit back and watch your new grass grow!
Any dirt work such as grading, drainage installation, or filling low spots would need to be done before lawn renovation. If you have ever considered investing in an automatic lawn sprinkler system, now would be the very best time of the year. The sprinkler system should be installed before a lawn renovation also. Some sprinkler system contractors, including our company, will even include the entire lawn renovation with the new sprinkler system installation at no additional charge this time of the year.
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