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A Short Guide to Transforming Your Lawn to Lush Green

by James Cummings on Jun 1, 2020

Can you use an upgrade of your lawn? If there are more weeds than grass on your lawn and you still have bare patches, no matter what you do, it may be time to do a total overhaul.  

Here’s a quick guide to replacing an ugly lawn with a beautiful, lush green field of grass. 

Find out the law problem

It's important to step back and look at the big picture before you start renovating your lawn. Taking a moment to figure out what the problem is might help you avoid similar issues after replanting. If grubs are the problem, for example, you'll need to treat them first. 

But if you’re having ugly patches on your lawn because there isn’t much sunlight in parts of your yard, then it’s best using low maintenance ground coverings that do well in shade in place of the sun-loving grass you have there. 

lawn

Or you may want to add landscaping features such as a firepit in places where the grass is struggling to grow. That'll have the additional advantage of reducing the amount of mowing that you intend to do.

Give your lawn a fresh start

Start from scratch when more than half of your lawn is screaming for help. Sprinkle your existing grass with a non-selective herbicide that kills all the vegetation that it touches. 

Read and follow all instructions in the label, so you don’t inadvertently damage other beautiful garden plants or wildlife.

Mow the lawn low

After you have had a few days to work with the herbicide, mow the dead grass as fast as possible. It may sound counterintuitive to absolutely scalp your lawn to restore it, but this low mowing will keep the dead plants from covering your new lawn too far while keeping the remnants of their roots intact to deter erosion before fresh grass can grow.

Rake and rake again

Next, get a power rake to extract excess organic material and aerate the soil to allow your new lawn to take hold. Keep about 1/4 inch thatch on the ground (just the barest layer). 

Rake off dead grass and any extras until you see dead grass stems and the bare soil is of equal amounts. Then spread a thin layer of compost over the soil, and evenly rake it in.

Seed the lawn

Now is the time to get new grass grown. If you are using seed, make sure to follow the instructions on the package to determine how much seed to use. The seed used must be the right amount. Using less than the required amount could make your lawn thin and scraggly.

Spread the seed evenly in all directions and make sure all every angle/direction is covered, so you don’t end up with bare spots in some areas.

If you install sprigs or plugs, it is simply a matter of digging small holes and plopping the plants in place. Cut a small trench to sprig and use a plug transplant tool. This little tool can usually be purchased from the same place you bought the plugs.

Water your new lawn well

You'll need to keep your renovated lawn moist once everything's planted. Be sure the soil isn't going dry for the first week or so after planting. The area should be moist - just the right amount of water (not soggy or dry)-  once the grass starts to grow. It may mean watering (for short, five-minute applications) a couple of times a day. Don’t 

After a few days or weeks, you can go for 10 to 15 minutes to a once a day watering. Watering evenly is also important so that your seed does not wash away, creating bare spots.

Feeding your renovated lawn

Start applying fertilizer or compost after the grass shoots to about an inch tall. This will spur its growth.

The same goes for sprigs and plugs: It is time for fertilizer if you want to use it after you see a few new shoots. Just be sure to wait for the growth, because if you fertilize too early you can burn roots.

Start mowing your new, repaired lawn

Give your grass it's first mowing when it’s around three inches tall. This will discourage weeds, and encourage your new grass to spread. That simple step makes a huge difference in the success of the project!

The first time you mow, be sure the mower blade is sharp; a dull blade might rip the seedlings right out of the ground. Then mow as you normally would, to keep the grass at the height you want it. For sake of the health of your lawn, during any one mowing round, make sure to don’t trim more than a third of the leaf length. 

So there you have it! However, all these processes might seem a bit too much and complex for a DIY especially if you're a busy professional or business person. If you live in and around the city, hiring a reliable fill dirt and sod installation, for example, will ensure you enjoy a fast and flawless transformation of your lawn. 

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