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Methods of Removing Turf

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When planting a new lawn, the first step is to kill and remove any poor-quality turf. This process can be accomplished through several methods including solarization, heavy mulches, hoes or sod cutters, and herbicides. When selecting your method, keep your lawn and climate conditions in mind, as some methods may be a better fit for your lawn than others. Solarization: Cut the old lawn as close to grade as possible before you begin….

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…

Fixing Grade Problems

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When planting a new lawn, take the time to fix any existing grade problems (after removing the old turf and before adding amendments to the soil). For minor grading problems, small versions of earth-moving equipment are often available to rent or buy.  You can also use a landscaping rake for working topsoil to the proper grade. To make minor grade adjustments use a landscape rake. Water the area.  Later, fill where…

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…

When to Mow

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How often should you mow? How much should you cut? Dr. Van Cline, Toro’s senior agronomist, shares some lawn mowing best practices.

Lawn Insects

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Dr. Van Cline, Toro’s senior agronomist, describes lawn insects that can infest your turf and how you can fight back!

The Best Way to Water

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We tend to over-water turf, which actually prefers to grow on the dry side. Dr. Van Cline, Toro’s senior agronomist, provides advice on the best way to water your lawn.

Encouraging Root Growth

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A healthy root system will produce healthy turf. Dr. Van Cline, Toro’s senior agronomist, describes the importance of root growth and how to encourage it in your lawn.

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…

Caring for Your New Lawn

Caring for a Newly Planted Lawn

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You have put a lot of work into creating a new lawn, so don’t forget the most important step.  Plan for watering needs before you plant your lawn.  Insufficient water and overwatering are the leading causes of new-lawn failure.  Take precautions to prevent damage.  Minimize play and foot traffic on new and sodded lawns for at least three weeks. Do not fertilize new lawns for at least six weeks. After…