Maintaining a healthy attractive lawn is exhausting work. While we would all prefer that lawns were self-sustaining, there will always be a ‘next step’ in the upkeep. Overseeding, the broadcast of seed over a lawn area, can help keep up with fullness and is best performed in the fall. Unfortunately throwing some seed down will not rectify every problem. This is especially true with lawns infested with weeds, where is may be necessary to consider starting with a clean slate.
First things first, the old lawn has to be removed along with any weeds. Solarization and heavy-mulching will effectively kill all turf and weeds but can take a couple months. By using a sod-cutting machine, the turf is sliced into sections and uprooted for easy removal. Now may be a good time to consider installing an underground irrigation system to help you maintain the new lawn. Now soil can be tested and amended as necessary to support the needs of new grass, and any undulations in grade should be addressed.
To ensure the new root system will thrive, the base should be tilled to alleviate compaction and any debris removed. (Read more about healthy root systems here). Once the base has been sufficiently watered its ready for grass. It is important to determine what type of turf would be best suited for an area based on traffic, shade, and usage applications such as sports. Not all turf can handle foot traffic and others will not grow to its potential if there is shade. Local nurseries will usually carry the most common types of turf for your area.
If you want instant gratification, sod is great for getting you results you can see fast. Sod comes with a shallow root system that has already developed, so the most critical part of installation is to ensure that the root system will bind with your base. Another option is hydroseeding, which projects a ‘slurry’ or seed, fertilizer, mulch, and water onto the lawn areas. The ingredients in the slurry work to create an ideal microenvironment for the germination process and results in deep-rooted turf. Hydroseeding provides uniform coverage, especially on those tricky contoured or sloped areas, and is typically more affordable than sod.
Establishing a lawn can take a couple of years, so be patient and keep up with good maintenance habits. Take precautions to prevent damage during the first few weeks while the lawn is settling in. Take care in exactly how much moisture you provide as insufficient water and over-watering are the leading causes of new-lawn failure. It is best to mow often enough that only 1/3 of the grass blade is cut. Now with basic maintenance your side of the fence is the greener side.
Of course, you could always instead explore synthetic turf! One of the biggest attractions to a synthetic lawn is that maintenance costs related to fertilization, aeration, overseeding, and irrigating are eliminated from regular landscaping. The amount of money saved in the regular maintenance of a live grass law offsets the installation of synthetic, while property value and sidewalk appeal is increased. If you are looking to replace your lawn consider the saved time & money as well as environmental benefits. Homeowners need only occasionally rinse the turf to maintained a picture perfect manicured landscape.
LCM PLUS, a full service Design | Build firm, has the expertise to help you design and transform you outdoor area to a functional living space the whole family can enjoy! Working with a proven professional like us means we will be there to work directly with you throughout the entire design and construction process and make your exterior landscaping visions a reality.
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