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Category : restore

Fertilizer Guidelines

Adding Nutrients to Your Soil

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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…

Planting Your Lawn

Preparing to Overseed a Lawn

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Before you begin, choose the seed that is best for your geographical area and buy the amount you need to cover the size of your lawn. You have several tool options for spreading seed evenly and at the recommended rates. They include your own hands, hand-held, and walk-behind spreaders, and slit-seeders (power seeders), which are powerful machines that cut shallow slits in the soil and sow seed at the same…

Take Care of Young Plants

Taking Care of Young Plants

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Your efforts to restore your lawn will be in vain if you do not care for the young grass plants as the seeds germinate and begin to grow. The most critical need is to apply water at least twice a day, assuming no rain. If the soil dries out, the seedlings will not germinate or will soon wither and die. To maximize the germination rate, soak your lawn on the same…

Common lawn weeds

Above Ground Lawn Pests

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Chinch Bugs Chinch bugs are the premier pest on St. Augustinegrass lawns and will attack other grasses except those in the coldest climates.  Black, winged, and 1/5-inch long, they live and lay eggs in the thatch layer at the root line. Most damaging are the tiny red nymphs, which thrive on sap sucked from grass stems. The adult chinch bug is the scourge of southern grasses. The chinch bug nymph…

Underground pests - Japanese Beetle

Underground Pests

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White Grubs These root-eating larvae of the scarab beetle family include Japanese beetles, June bugs, rose chafers, and the black turfgrass ataenius.  Grub size and characteristics vary, but grubs are generally plump, whitish gray and C-shaped with brown heads, and three pairs of legs.  In the summer, you can identify adult Japanese beetles, metallic green with copper wings, and June bugs, reddish brown nocturnal fliers. Look for: Wilted, bluish-gray grass…

What to Wear For Pest & Weed Control

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Whether you’re using insecticides and herbicides derived from botanical, biological, or synthetic materials, take all basic precautions, including the use of goggles, disposable dust masks (for pesticide dust), and tight-fitting respirators when using liquid sprays.  Use National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) approved respirators containing activated charcoal cartridges that filter pesticide vapors from the air. What to Wear Read all product labels thoroughly, and apply the products with…

Amend soil

What is a Soil Amendment?

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Adding a soil amendment, also called a soil conditioner, helps improve plant growth and health.  The type of amendment or amendments added depends on the current soil composition, the climate, and the type of plant.  Some of the various amendments include: Lime (makes soil less acidic) Fertilizers for plant nutrients (i.e. manure, peat, or compost) Materials for water retention (i.e. clay, shredded bark, or vermiculite) Gypsum (releases nutrients and improves…

Fill Depressions and Level Bumps

Filling Depressions and Leveling 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…

Methods of Removing Turf

Removing Thatch and Weeds From a Lawn

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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…

Aerating Compacted Lawns

Aerating Compacted Lawns

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Aeration, also called core cultivation, is an important part of any lawn restoration program. Aeration allows grass roots to penetrate the soil deeply, helps fertilizer and organic matter get to the roots, allows oxygen to reach the roots, and makes it easier for water to soak into the soil. Aerate your lawn once a year in the fall.  Avoid aerating during dry summer months because you may damage an already…