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Category : restoring a tired lawn


Tips for Topdressing Your Lawn

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A green and healthy lawn starts, literally, from the ground up. One way to improve the look of your lawn is to improve the soil. A technique called topdressing can help you do just that.   Topdressing is the process of adding soil or other organic material directly over the top of your lawn. In addition to improving soil conditions, topdressing can help smooth out rough or uneven areas in…


Improving the Health of Your Lawn

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Let’s face it: when you live in the suburbs, a healthy, well-kept lawn is a must.  Before anyone even steps into your house, it’s your front lawn that makes the first impression of your home.  So what’s something that can help keep your lawn healthy?  Many people seem to forget about aeration.   Aeration, or aerification, is a method of perforating your lawn with small holes to allow for more water…


Restoring a Tired Lawn

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Restoring a tired lawn allows you to improve your lawn without removing the existing turf.  You will have the best chance of success if you do a thorough walk-through of your lawn checking both above and below ground. Your lawn is a good candidate for restoration if: Some grass blades are thin or have a yellow/green look. Turf cover is even with small areas of soil or wear. Some bare…

What's Under Your Soil?

Getting a Soil Test

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To improve your soil, you need to understand what you have in order to apply the right soil amendments. The best way to test your soil is to send a sample to a Cooperative Extension Service (CSREES) (usually located at or affiliated with a state university) or commercial soil laboratory (check out the print or online Yellow Pages under “Laboratories—Testing” for commercial soil-testing labs).  The best time to test soil…

How much pesticide do we use?

Eight Steps to Restoring a Lawn

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It takes work, but it is not impossible to give your lawn a facelift. Follow these steps to help wake up a tired lawn: Step 1: Remove thatch and weed buildup. The best time to dethatch is in the spring or fall when your lawn is thriving.  Click here for complete details. Step 2: Fill depressions and level bumps. As you dethatch your lawn (Step 1) make note of bumps and depressions and…


Step 1. Remove Thatch and Weeds

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The first step to lawn restoration is to remove any thatch buildup.  Thatch is un-decomposed stems and roots that accumulate near the soil surface.  Dig up a small, triangular-shaped plug of turf several inches deep.  If the spongy layer above the soil is more than ¾- to 1-inch thick when you compress it, it is time to have your lawn dethatched.  The best time to dethatch is when your lawn…

Fill Depressions and Level Bumps

Step 2. Fill Depressions and Level Bumps

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Poor grading, uneven settling, or the decomposition of buried tree stumps, logs, or roots can cause depressions and bumps.  While you are dethatching your lawn, check for bumps and depressions.  Mark any irregularities with latex spray paint so you can find them easily when you are ready to level. Depressions Smooth slight depressions by topdressing—applying a combination of topsoil and compost—the surface topsoil.  A wide landscaping rake is the best…


Step 3. Adjust Your Soil’s pH

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It is best to test your own soil, or obtain test results from a professional testing service, before applying any amendments. If your soil test shows that the soil pH is low, add lime according to the test recommendations.  If you did your own pH test, see the table to determine how much lime to apply. If you are unsure of your test results, be conservative.  Too much of an…

Fertilizer Guidelines

Step 4. Add Nutrients

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Use a slow-release fertilizer, and avoid putting down more fertilizer than you need. Adding too much nitrogen can cause rapid growth and a thinning of plant cell walls, which makes grass more susceptible to disease. The excess fertilizer may also leach and eventually find its way into waterways, polluting them. Tested Soil When restoring a lawn, apply the fertilizer as recommended by the results of your soil test. Untested Soil If you…

Step 5. Increase Organic Matter and Microbes

Step 5. Increase Organic Matter and Microbes

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Applying fertilizer will not help if your soil does not contain an adequate population of microbes; you need billions of these microscopic organisms per handful of soil.  Your soil must contain 2- to 5-percent organic material to have a thriving microbe population.  Microbes not only digest grass clippings, dead grass roots, and old stems, they make nutrients available to living grass plants.  A top-dressing of compost mixed with topsoil followed…