We all love beautifully mowed, exceptionally well-groomed lawns. However, renovating a lawn or to start developing one can be a very difficult task overall. The process of renovating the lawn can be successfully achieved if 50% of the total lawn area is covered with grass.
Renovating lawn comprises of planting of grass seeds of various varieties to do damage control or to increase tolerance towards adversities like drought, shade and wear. Before you start with the renovation you should diagnose the problem first i.e. to know why the lawn’s quality has declined otherwise renovating could become waste of time. Renovation should only be done if the following conditions exist:
i) If 25 to 50% of the lawn is dead or has scant growth
ii) If the lawn is responding poorly to regular conditioning applications and even feels soft and spongy when being walked over.
iii) If 25 to 50% of lawn is covered with weeds
In case any of the problems persist, follow the below mentioned steps to renovate your lawn in 10 easy steps:
1) Soil Test once can make a fresh start with testing for the soil conditions of the lawn. This will give a fair idea as to what all are required to be done to make the soil more fertile and productive.
2) Weed Control: There are three ways through which this problem can be dealt. A) Physically pull out the large spreading weeds. B) In case of general weeds, spraying of herbicides consisting of glyphosate would do the job. Though it might kill all the vegetation but definitely allows new pasture to regenerate quickly. C) If the weeds are non-grasses then broadleaf herbicides are good options.
3) Replenishment of Soil Moisture: Especially during the fall, the soil needs to be moisturized. For that the soil is soaked in water at a depth of 6-8 inches. Then it’s allowed to dry until the thatches are removed. The whole process requires 1-2 days.
4) Thatch Removal: The sod cutters are recommended to get rid of severe thatch problems. Even vertical mowers can also do the job along with preparing of seedbeds.
5) Preparation of Soil: in case the soil is compacted 3-5 passes with commercial, aerifier is required but again in this case also the vertical mowers can prove to be effective. They can be used with their tines nicking the surface at a depth of 1/8-½ inches.
6) Soil fertilization: The soil needs to be fertilized with various components like Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium according to the results of the soil test.
7) Seeding: Before seeding, the seeds are mixed with sawdust or any other organic fertilizer in a ratio of 1:4. Generally this process is achieved by dividing the seed lot in halves or quarters and then seed in 2-4 directions using the following methods: A) If the site is small i.e. less than 10 feet across then the process can be achieved using hands only. B) To overlap half way or to seed in 2 directions drop spreaders can effectively be used. C) Hiring professionals is the best option to deal with lawn renovation. They have slit seeders that can go over the whole 2-4 times to accomplish perfection.
8) Irrigation: It should be made sure that the seed and soil contact is good after the process of seeding. The soil initially requires to be watered twice daily without making it soggy. Later watering can be restricted to once daily.
9) Mowing: When the grass finally starts growing let it grow till 4 inches tall. Then mow it to 2 inches with a very sharp mower and maintain regular mowing as per the requirement.
10) Lawn Establishment: On a newly renovated lawn traffic or play should be strictly avoided for a few weeks so that the lawn takes its own time become healthier.