Is there a way to save your lawn without resodding?

villages resoddingIf the condition of your lawn has gotten away from you, early fall is the time to get to work on giving your grass a new lease on life. The soil is still plenty warm from the summer, but the air is cooler – which creates perfect conditions for germination. When grass seed is planted in the fall, the seedlings have all of fall and spring to become established before the hot, dry summer weather sets in.

Evaluate the condition of your lawn. Determine if you should scrap the whole area and start over, revitalize your existing grass or just patch a few bare spots.

Patching Bare Spots in a Lawn

Sometimes bare spots can develop from foot traffic, pets, or weeds. You can reseed these areas quite simply:

  • Mix 5 parts dry sand, 1 part commercial soil and 1 part grass seed. Add some slow release fertilizer to the mixture. The package instructions designate the amount. The ideal mixture is usually 1 cup of fertilizer in 5 shovelfuls of sand, one shovelful of soil and one shovelful of seed.
  • Then, cut your existing vegetation close to the ground and loosen the soil with a rake. Remove all weeds.
  • Cover the bare spot with the seed mixture to a depth of about 1/4 inch.
  • Water liberally.

Revitalizing an Existing Lawn

  • Mow your existing grass close to the ground and go over the entire area with a rake.
  • Remove perennial weeds such as dandelions.
  • Loosen hard packed areas where grass has died out.
  • Work compost or humus into the top few inches of soil.
  • Top dress the entire lawn with a mix of one part commercial manure, one part humus and two parts top soil. Apply the soil blend over the whole area about 1/4 inch deep.
  • Work the soil into the existing grass.
  • Water.
  • Broadcast the seed evenly. Use a grass seed that matches your existing turf or contact your local cooperative extension service for the best type of grass for your area.
  • Tamp down the area to ensure good seed to soil contact.
  • Water with a sprinkler, so the area receives at least 1 inch of water. Place an empty tuna can on the ground to help measure how much water you’ve applied.
  • Keep the area moist until the grass is established. Don’t let the soil dry out even for a day. To help retain moisture apply a thin, even layer of loose, weed-free straw mulch.

Planting a New Lawn

You can do the soil prep on this project in August and then sow the grass seeds in early fall.

  • Mow the existing vegetation close to the ground and dig it under. This will eventually decay and add nutrients back into the soil.
  • Remove stones and other debris.
  • Grade the area to smooth it out. It doesn’t have to be completely level, just evened out.
  • Work commercial manure or compost into the soil about 3 inches deep.
  • Before sowing seed or laying the sod, wet the area. If you prepared the soil in advance, break up the surface. Remove any weeds that survived the initial preparation.
  • If sowing seed, divide the area into large squares. Go over each square twice, the second pass at a right angle to the first.
  • Water with a sprinkler, so the area receives at least 1 inch of water. Place an empty tuna can on the ground to help measure how much water you’ve applied.
  • Keep the area moist until the grass is established. Don’t let the soil dry out even for a day. To help retain moisture apply a thin even layer of loose weed-free straw mulch.

Things to Consider When Sowing Grass Seeds

Sow grass seeds about 45 days before the first hard freeze in your area.

For even coverage of the grass seed use a drop spreader. If you don’t want to purchase a spreader, most garden centers will rent you one for the day.

Germination time for grass seed varies from 7-21 days, depending on soil temperatures and seed species. During this time be sure to keep the area moist. If the weather is dry, you may need to water lightly several times a day until the seedlings are about 1 inch tall.

Grass should be cut for the first time when it has reached 3-4". Mower blade should be sharp. After the third cutting, water 1-2 times per week, applying a total of 1" of water.

Most turf grass prefers a slightly acidic soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. Test the soil with a simple pH soil kit to check if your soil is acid or alkaline. If acid (a pH of 6 or less), apply a fast-acting dolomite lime at the rate of 50 pounds per 1000 square feet. If alkaline (a pH of 7 or higher), apply a granular gypsum at the rate of 50 lbs per 1,000 square feet.

Source

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What Your Neighbors Are Saying About Mansfield Landscaping

We made our decision to go with Mansfield Landscaping after seeing beautifully landscaped homes. First of all, we were very pleased with how easy it was to get in touch with them and to schedule an appointment in a short amount of time. Steve was very thorough with information about everything we needed to know on the phone, and our meeting with Ron was very pleasant. He listened to our ideas and came up with just what we were looking for within our budget. The work crew were very courteous and the job was completed in the time agreed upon with no payment until everything was finished to our satisfaction. We have received many compliments about our landscaping already. We especially love looking at the gorgeous triple Sylvester palm as we sit in our lanai.

Thank you for a job well done!

Dave and Amy Hibbs (The Villages)

Thank you so much for replacing the plants in our yard that did not survive the winter. Everything looks so beautiful, and I am very grateful to you and your employees for doing such a wonderful job.

Mary Ann Flynn (The Villages)

I have moved 8 times all in FL and have put in a lot of landscaping. The landscaping Steve Mansfield did at my present home is the best ever. On a scale of 1 to 10, Steve and his employees are a good 10.

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We highly recommend Mansfield Landscaping. Working with Steve was most enjoyable and educational. They are a professional group that knows how to design a project. Their large selection of quality plant varieties allows for combinations that create a good layout. The workers arrive on time, work diligently, and clean up when done. The result is that they totally live up to their reputation for customer satisfaction.

Bob & Kaarina H. (The Villages)

Steve is an incredibly talented landscaper... definitely not a run of the mill type. He selects plantings with care and thought for locations and overall design. An added bonus is his conscientiousness towards his customers and the pride he takes in his work... all with good reason. His workers are polite and efficient about cleanup after installing plants. I do not hesitate to give him my highest recommendation.

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We are delighted with the beautiful landscaping work at our home. The workers were enjoyable to have at our home and the result is even better than we had hoped for. Now we see a gorgeous palm tree and other plantings. It is wonderful to walk in the front door and have our new view. It is a lovely walk through a garden. We couldn’t be happier.

Lee and Judy Jacobs

We have just completed a large landscaping job with Steve Mansfield and are totally pleased and impressed with the quality of the work, the overall appearance and the end product. The job was completed within a week of the estimate and far below other estimates. With those estimates the jobs could not have been started for over a month, at a much higher cost. We went to the nursery with our outside pictures and chose the specific trees we wanted in our yard. This was a long process, but well worth the effort. Steve likes to talk, but he estimated the job that we wanted with the exact trees we wanted to our total satisfaction.

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