Late Summer Steps for Total Lawn Renovation
This time of year I again suggest the lawn renovation steps to convert old hopeless northern lawns to the newer stronger grasses that are available today.
This “kill and replace” strategy is for lawns troubled by the kind of grassy weeds you can’t kill without killing your good grass and for lawns you are fighting a constant battle with lawn diseases. We are approaching the best time of year to renovate cool-season grass lawns (Bluegrass, Ryegrass, Fescue). Starting over allows you to use today’s top-of-the-line seed blends that do a better job of tolerating drought and attacks by insects or disease. Starting over may be the best way to get rid of perennial grassy weeds such as Nimblewill, Bentgrass, Orchardgrass, Tall Fescue clumps, or Quackgrass that you can’t kill without killing your good grass.
These are the steps to renovate a lawn by killing the existing grass and establishing a new lawn:
- Mid-August, spray the bad lawn area with Roundup. Be sure to use regular Roundup and not one of the special Roundup products that provide longer term weed prevention.
- About a week later do a repeat spray of Roundup on any areas you missed.
- A week later mow your dead grass as short as possible removing the clippings as you mow. Rent a Dethatcher (also known as a Power Rake) and run it over the dead lawn in two directions. Set the machine low enough so that the blades are touching the soil. Rake up the dead grass and add Scotts Turf Builder Lawn Soil to any low spots. If you now have mostly bare soil with the top inch or so broken up you could skip the next Slit-Seeder step and broadcast your seed using a Scotts Spreader.
- If you have more dead grass than bare soil, rent a Slit-Seeder to seed your lawn with Scotts best seed blend for your situation. For our best grass seed, go with one of the Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed blends rated for Sun, Sun/Shade, Dense Shade, High Traffic, or Heat-Tolerance. I am a big fan of Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed Heat-Tolerant Blue Mix.
- Spread Scotts Starter Food for New Grass the same day you seed.
- Water a couple of times a day for several weeks.
- Mow your new lawn when it is tall enough to cut with the height set at around 2-1/2 inches.
- About a month after seeding, feed your new lawn with Scotts Turf Builder.