Did you ever wish you had a delete button for your lawn and could start it all over? While we admire and encourage those who relentlessly defend their turf against drought, fungus, and weeds, there comes a time when the best strategy is to give up and “re-boot” your lawn. If you have ever thought about it, now is the time to get going. Total lawn restoration is all about planning and timing. If you’re ready to start over, begin in August.
Kill the Lawn in August
Spray Eraser, a non selective herbicide, over the entire lawn and weeds, using manufactures recommended mixing rates. Being careful to keep overspray off desirable shrubs, leaves and flowers.
Uncle’s Tip: Following extended drought periods, it is recommended to water your lawn 2-3 times the week prior to applying Eraser. This will help bring the grass & weeds out of dormancy helping the plant to absorb more herbicide for a better kill.
Remove Clippings and Debris
Allow seven to ten days after the Eraser application to start overseeding preparations. Begin by raking or mowing (with grass catcher) to remove dead clippings and debris. Spot spray any remaining green areas that have been missed at first application.
Improving Soil Conditions
Before overseeding is an excellent time to add any needed soil amendments or soil conditioners, this is the time to do core aeration, leveling the yard, or adding organic matter to enrich the soil profile. Adding calcium contained in Grass Pad’s Lawn-Cal is beneficial for areas containing heavy traces of sodium from pet urine and ice-melters. Also, Lawn-Cal helps to break apart clay particles relieving soil compaction and enhancing drainage
See Related: Benefits of Calcium in the Soil
See Related: Building Soil by Feeding Microbes
Before seeding, scratch up the soil in bare spots using a cavex rake or garden weasel. For large areas, machine verticutting will significantly improve your seed to soil contact but is not a requirement. Apply your favorite Grass Pad seed at the recommended rate. Use a rotary broadcast or hand-cranked spreader for even seed distribution. Pay special attention to any bare spots, making sure to apply extra seed to these areas.
See Related: Verticutting vs Core Aeration
After seeding, cover bare areas with a light top dressing of weed-free PrimeraOne Field Conditioners or sphagnum peat. Do not use straw bales, bagged topsoil, or composted peat as seed dressings; they are contaminated with weed seeds. Using these will result in a huge number of invasive weeds that will be difficult to remove later.
Keep Seed Consistently Moist
After fertilizing, water lightly so the soil surface is wet. Continue watering daily, keeping the seed consistently moist, and so the soil does not become hard or baked. This requires watering multiple times a day. As the grass seed begins to germinate and fill in, reduce the watering frequency, but increase the amount of water with each irrigation. Deep watering as the grass matures will train the roots to penetrate deep into the soil.
Mowing New Grass
As the seedlings reach a height of three to four inches, mow to a height of three inches with a sharp mower blade at a time when the grass is not wet. Keeping your new grass at the height of three inches facilitates in root establishment, essential for healthy turf.
See Related: Mowing Height for Cool Season Grasses
Continue Feeding the Lawn
Wait four weeks after seeding and re-apply Loveland Golf Course Starter or Renovator.
Finally, after another four weeks, apply Loveland Snowman the most essential fertilizer to use over your new lawn. Snowman boosts root growth and supplies vital nutrients to enhance drought and traffic tolerances as well as promote early spring green up.