25September 5, 2012

If you are like many people, you have been looking at your lawn and your lawn isn’t looking as nice as you would like the lawn to be. September is a very good month to fix up your lawn. Let me tell you about the things you should be doing now to fix up your lawn.
Let’s start with an easy lawn fix up. When was the last time you fertilized your lawn? If you haven’t fertilized the lawn since spring, the lawn is hungry! Lawns need a steady supply of food if the grass is to continue to grow throughout the growing season. If your lawn is brown, you may find that an application of fertilizer and some water may get your lawn to turn green again.
If you look at your lawn and there are random bare spots, you will need to re-seed the lawn. First, you need to ask yourself why these bare spots have shown up in your lawn. If the rest of the grass around the bare spots is green, it is very likely that there just isn’t enough good soil in those spotty areas to keep the roots alive when we get a dry summer. I think everybody’s first impression is to put a little topsoil on those spots and then re-seed those spots. This probably isn’t going to work in the long run. You still have the problem with the poor quality soil under that thin layer of topsoil. The best way to fix up those bare spots is to loosen up the soil to a depth of 4 inches. Put the new topsoil down and work it into the 4 inches of loosened soil. You may have to add more topsoil than you think to make the soil a good quality soil. Once you have the soil “fixed’ then it is time to add some seed starter fertilizer to those bare spots, work the fertilizer into the soil and then add the grass seed to the surface of the soil. You will need to keep those newly seeded areas moist until the grass seed sprouts in about 10 to 14 days. Depending on the weather, you may have to water several times a day to keep the soil moist. Sunny, hot and windy days will dry out the soil faster than you may think. Once the grass seed has sprouted, you will still have to water the spots, but nowhere near as often as you did when you are trying to get the seed to sprout.

If you decide that the lawn needs some major renovation, you need to look at the lawn with a critical eye. How much of your lawn is weeds? If it were more than 50%, you would be better off tilling up all of the lawn and seeding the whole lawn. If you are going to do this, you may find it beneficial to kill those weeds before you dig up the lawn. The reason is that some of those weeds will come back from any of the roots that are left in the lawn. Many landscapers will apply Round Up to the lawn and kill off the grass and the weeds. Once 7 days have passed you can dig up the lawn and then re-seed the lawn. Once the lawn is dug up, you should check the soil and make sure that you have at least 4 to 6 inches of good loam. If not, now would be a good time to bring in some loam and spread it across the area and then turn that loan into the soil. This method makes sure that the good soil is not just on the surface but is really in all of those 4 to 6 inches of soil. Once the soil is prepared, you should add lime to the soil, some seed starter fertilizer and then work both items into the top several inches of soil. Since you have turned over the soil, the soil will tend to settle over time. This will cause your new lawn to have a lot of high and low spots. To prevent this, rent a lawn roller and lightly compact the soil. Once you have done this, you may have to do some raking to level off the high and low spots. Once you have the soil leveled off, you can apply seed and then you will need to keep the soil moist until the grass seed sprouts.
Well, that’s the short version of how to fix up your lawn. As always, if you need help with your lawn, you can stop by the store for additional help.
Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.

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