Yearly lawn renovation is an important part of keeping your lawn healthy, looking its best and help prevent disease and pest problems. Spring is a great time to renovate your lawn whether you have cool-season or warm-season grass. Grass will be coming out of its dormancy and into its active growing phase, so renovating in the spring is ideal. Complete lawn renovation kills all the existing vegetation and is used for lawns that cannot be salvaged. This article will instead focus on lawns that simply need a pick-me-up after a long or harsh winter and kickstart their growing period.
The time that you decide to start working on your lawn will depend on your region. The best time to begin a minor renovation project is right before your grass’s active growing stage. For cool-season grasses, the best time to start would be in early-to-mid spring. Warm-season grasses begin actively growing a bit later than cool-season ones, so mid-to-late spring is ideal.
Testing Your Soil
Soil testing is an important part of a yearly lawn renovation. It is always a good idea to test your soil because it can give you an idea of what your lawn needs. Getting a test can be done by contacting your county’s extension office and purchasing one. Although the price for these tests varies by state, county, and the type of test you buy, they generally range from $10 – $95. Follow the directions on the test so that you harvest the soil properly. These tests can analyze your soil’s pH and nutrient levels and also recommend plants and grasses. These tests can help you understand your lawn’s needs and ways to provide for it accordingly.
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Dethatching is not necessary for all lawns but is important for ones that do. Whether or not you need to dethatch will depend on your turf type; for example, because of their roots systems, Kentucky Bluegrass and Bermuda are both types of grass that are prone to thatch. Thatch is a layer of straw-like material that builds up around the base of the grass. It is made up of grass stems and roots (called stolons and rhizomes) that are resistant to decay. That being said, grass clippings do not contribute to thatch buildup, so regular mowing should not cause its accumulation. Removing thatch will allow more light and air to reach your grass and improve drainage. Once thatch has built up, it must be removed physically. This can be done with a vertical lawn mower, a rake, or special dethatching equipment.
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Aerating your soil is one of the best things you can do during your spring lawn renovation because of its ability to improve soil texture. It exposes grassroots to more air and sunlight and reduces compaction, which will allow for deeper, healthier grassroots. To aerate your soil, there are both machine and manual devices to help you. Both work the same way in that they extract cores from the soil. Generally speaking, the more you aerate, the better. Aeration is also wonderful when seeding because it gives seeds more areas to germinate.
The soil amendment you use will depend on the results of your soil test. There are different soil amendments for different problems. Common soil amendments include compost, peat moss, lime, etc. While fertilizer is usually a good option for everyone, compost can also help to improve your soil’s texture and microbiome. Alternatively, if your soil is particularly acidic, lime will help raise its pH. Also, if you plan to lawn level, do so during this step.
When using these soil amendments, remember that too much of them can do more harm than good. Sandier soils will not need the same amount of added material as ones heavier in clay. Additionally, using too much compost or peat overtop grass can smother it, and raising the soil’s pH too much makes it harder for grasses to absorb nutrients. However, the right amendments in the right quantities will allow your lawn to thrive.
This step is generally done before seeding. If you are amending with organic material compost or peat moss, you can also apply it after you seed. Doing so is actually beneficial because it provides a thin layer on top of the seeds, which will prevent bird and squirrels from eating them.
The Landzie Guarantee
At Landzie, we take great pride in our craftsmanship, as our high-quality line of lawn care products is built to endure even the toughest of projects. We guarantee your complete satisfaction with your Landzie product and work rigorously to achieve that goal. Before anything, our customers come first. That being said, should you ever run into an issue, or find yourself anything less than 100% satisfied, please do not hesitate to contact us. We promise to make things right. The Landzie product guarantee ensures you buy with confidence!
Once your lawn has been prepared, you can finally start sowing. Overseeding is a process that applies a smaller amount of seeds across the entire lawn to fill it out. If you would like a more in-depth guide to overseeding, check out our article on Overseeding. When you have larger bare patches, you will likely have to do some patch care whether or not you overseed as well. Eventually, if you are only overseeding a small area, you may be able to do this by hand; however, if you are overseeding an entire lawn, you may find a seed spreader to be helpful. Spreaders will ensure more even coverage across your yard. To use one, simply fill it with the proper amount of seeds and walk across your lawn in rows.
Any patches will need special care. If the bare patch is quite large, consider using a seed spreader. If it is rather small, you can simply use your hands. Make sure to clear the area of any twigs or small rocks before you seed. After you lay the seed down, press them down gently for good seed-to-soil contact. If you would like to, you can then add a thin layer of peat moss or top soil over the seeds.
To have a successful to almost a perfect lawn renovation. Watering is the most important thing when taking care of new seeds. Without water, seeds cannot germinate. Make sure to be careful not to overwater; it is best to use less water and water more frequently. If you get heavy rain in the springtime, you will not need to water. The amount of time it will take for your seeds to germinate will depend on the seed type and your current climate. Ryegrass germinates rather quickly while Kentucky Bluegrass may take up to three weeks to germinate. This will also depend on the temperature of the soil. Cool-season grasses will germinate best when the soil temperature is between 50-60℉, and warm–season grasses germinate best when the soil is between 65-70℉.
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