Easy Steps for Reviving Your Lawn

If your lawn looks pitiful after the tough winter months, early intensive care during spring may save it. On the other hand, if the lawn is past its recovery point, establishing a new lawn may be a better idea. If there's still hope for your yard, here are some easy techniques to bring out the green in your grass.

Dethatch

If the lawn is compacted with more than half an inch of thatch (dead grass and leaves pressed down among the roots), remove it by using a dethatching rake or a power-dethatching machine. Regular dethatching forces buds to grow near the base of the grass stems and frees new grass shoots to grow in thick and lush.

Aerate

To aerate, use a coring device to cut 3- or 4-inch-deep holes in the soil, and leave the cores on the lawn to decompose naturally. The holes created by the aerator will provide a path for fertilizer, water and oxygen to get to the grass roots where they will do the most good.

Overseed

Overseeding is used to fill in bare spots. To prepare your lawn for overseeding, get rid of weeds, rake over the bare spots to prepare a loose seed bed, then, follow these next steps.

  • Choose a seed variety that matches the turf grass you already have. If you have blue grass, for instance, overseeding with any kind of blue grass will do the job.
  • Sow the seed at twice the rate recommended for a new lawn, and broadcast the seed over the bare areas by hand. Broadcast a very thin layer of light organic top dressing (no more than 1/4 inch) on top of the seed so it won't dry out or blow away.
  • Fertilize using a spreader to distribute slow-release granular lawn fertilizer over the entire lawn in the quantity recommended for a new lawn.
  • Water regularly and keep the area damp by sprinkling until the seed germinates. Reduce watering when the seeds begin to grow.

Plant a New Lawn

Depending on the condition of your lawn, you may be able to revive it by simply dethatching, aerating and overseeding. However, if the lawn is completely overrun with weeds and patchy brown spots, or worse, it's just a solid mass of straw, the most economical thing is to till it under and completely start from scratch.