I have never been a natural gardener. For years, I struggled to keep basic houseplants alive, only to kill them at the first opportunity. It was difficult and stressful to buy a home with a yard, but I knew that I might be able to learn what I was doing wrong and correct the problem. To start off, I focused heavily on the lawn, and tried hard to keep it trimmed and well-maintained. Next, I cleaned up the flowerbeds. It was a lot of work, but I knew that it would pay off in the end. When I was done, my front yard was gorgeous, and guess what--it even stayed alive. This blog is all about loving your little landscape.
Do you own a home with a front or back yard that's seen better days? Do you have patches of dirt showing through, where animals have dug up or otherwise disturbed your lawn? If you've already tried fertilizing and putting down seeds and had no luck, it may seem impossible that your landscaping will ever look good again. But don't despair, there are still things that can be done to make your lawn lush and beautiful for summer. Here are some things you can do:
Remove the old lawn: If you want a beautiful lawn, it may seem counter-intuitive to kill off the lawn that you do have, but this is the best way to get started. Some people advocate killing off a lawn chemically, with herbicide, but there are other ways to do it. You can lay down a cloth or plastic weed barrier that will prevent the grass from getting light, killing it. This may take quite some time to accomplish, however. If you want your lawn green as quickly as possible, you can hire a sodding service to come in and remove your old lawn mechanically. Over the course of a day or two, they will use a sod cutter to cut your lawn into strips, peeling off the top layer of grass.
Loosen the soil: Once the grass has been eliminated, you'll need to get the ground ready for the new grass. If the ground becomes soggy from rain after the old grass is removed, you should wait until the ground is mostly dry for this step. The ground will need to be tilled, to loosen it up and to break up the roots of any grass that might still remain. It should then be raked smooth, both to level it out and so that you can gather and discard any loose bits of root. A good sodding service like Metro Sod & Seeding Inc will usually perform this step immediately after removal of your old grass.
Put down new soil: If your lawn was neglected for some time, there's a good chance that the dirt beneath is lacking in some nutrients. While you can fertilize, having healthy soil or compost for the roots to grow into now will give you a stronger and more lush lawn, more quickly than just planting in the old dirt. Some sodding services may eliminate this step, in an effort to make sure that their fees are more competitive, but this is something that shouldn't be skipped.
Install new sod: You could plant fresh grass seed and achieve much the same result, but it would take a lot longer for your lawn to be established. Instead, you should have good quality sod put in. If you choose to put in the sod yourself, rather than hiring a local sodding service, try to make sure that all the strips are facing the same direction. For example, always unroll the sod east to west and not east to west. The specific direction you choose doesn't matter, but if you unroll some in one direction and some in the other direction, your lawn may initially take on a checkerboard appearance due to the grass growing at slightly different angles. This should eventually correct itself, but may be less than desirable to have at the beginning.Share