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Lawn renovation

by The Dream Lawn (Mantis)

Lawn renovation is necessary when areas of declining or dead grass mar the appearance of your lawn. You'll want to replace damaged turf either in spots or by overseeding a large area. Renovate cool-season lawns in early fall; warm-season grasses can be renewed in spring with plugs or sprigs.

For spot repair of cool-season grasses, remove the dead sod with a shovel or turn it under and work in topsoil, compost, or other organic matter. Rake the area smooth and sprinkle a few handfuls of seed evenly over the spot. Lightly rake the seeds in and tamp the area gently so seeds make good contact with the soil. Mulch with clean straw or peat moss to retain soil moisture and water. Continue to water daily until seeds germinate. Once the young blades appear, water every two or three days until they are tall enough to mow, then water once a week.

Overseeding is most often used for lawns where large areas are clearly ailing but not dead or when you want to generally revitalize your lawn. One of the best times to overseed a lawn is following aeration because seeds and fertilizer lodge well in the newly created crannies. First go over the lawn with a dethatcher and rake up the loosened thatch. Sow seed at about half the normal rate with a spreader or by hand. Rake again for good soil contact and broadcast a high phosphorus fertilizer (5-10-5). Water well.

The new stand of grass should be well established within one and a half to two months. Some lawn experts recommend overseeding a lawn every other year to keep it young and healthy. You can do this as a further step when you aerate or dethatch.


Copyright © 2008 LAF/C.R.S., Inc. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission
from The Dream Lawn, © 1996 Mantis, 1028 Street Road, Southampton, PA 18966.



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