Lawn Repair or Replace?

dead grass.jpg

 

Welcome back the Wonderful World of Weed Man!  We are on Part 4 of our ‘The Grass IS Greener Over There!‘ Series.  If you are joining us you can find last week’s blog post here.  We are excited that you have joined us for another adventure in the lawn world.  Our hope is you learn something about your lawn to help make it more enjoyable part of your home!

This week, I wanted to discuss repairing areas in your lawn.  Whether you are new to the lawn world, or have been dealing with lawns for many years, you will eventually run into an issue that needs fixing.  Lawns can get damaged or have areas die off for a variety of reasons:

  • Insects – this is usually the quickest and most destructive cause of lawn damage.  Several insects like to feed on the lawn and can damage or chew away the root system.  Essentially, without the root system, the lawn is dead – it just doesn’t know it yet.  Many times the damage you see on your lawn from insects is an area where they WERE recently.  It takes a bit of time for the damage to show.  Without a root system, grass cannot repair itself.  This is generally the most severe form of lawn damage.
  • Drought Damage – just not getting the water it needs.  Lawns can generally recover from drought damage depending on how severe it is and how long it has been since it was watered.
  • Disease – many type of fungi are present in the soil waiting for the right conditions to attack!  It’s a slow death as well – again not as severe and quick as drought or insects, but it still can lead to a lawn that needs fixing if the damage is severe enough.
  • Animal – In my instance it is my dogs – not necessarily urine spots.  Most lawns can recover from that.  My damaged areas from my dogs are from digging or a running path they constantly go over.  Again some healthy lawns can recover from running paths over time, but digging usually  needs a bit of training for the dog and repair work for the lawn.  It could be another type of animal as well, like voles or gophers.dog dug.jpg

 

Whatever the cause – the lawn looks terrible!  At this point we run into many people who feel it would be better to just start over.  I think what surprises me most is the amount of money someone would put into completely replacing the lawn and then disregard correcting the root cause.  Above and beyond that one will spend a large amount of money, but not utilize any type of lawn program to maintain/improve on the large investment they made!

(Insert soapbox for me to stand on) –

Please, I implore you.  Make no hasty decisions about replacing your entire lawn!

And for goodness sake, if you spend the thousands of dollars needed to replace your lawn, fix the root cause.  On top of that, PLEASE HAVE SOME TYPE OF ANNUAL LAWN PROGRAM TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR INVESTMENT!  It does not have to be with us, but please protect your investment.

(I will now step down from the soapbox.)

It may be hasty to replace the whole thing!  Your lawn is a living organism and most times it just needs minor repair work and some tlc.

Don’t go crazy – save yourself some time/headache/money – focus on a repair.

To properly repair your lawn it is important to know what caused the damage in the first place.  It would be terrible to spend the time and money repairing your lawn to only have it happen again.  Once you have identified the root cause of the damage and taken steps to make certain it doesn’t happen again, you are ready to repair!

The steps for repairing your lawn are as follows:

  1. Remove the old dead areas with a shovel.  You can trim up the areas being removed so they are straight.
  2. Check soil conditions and level.  You may needs to till up the soil a bit or add some top soil to make sure that the level matches the surrounding grass area.  This will also ensure that whatever replacement method you use the soil will be ready for it.
  3. Replace the grass.  You can seed this area, or if you want to spend the money for quicker results you can lay down sod in the damaged area.  For more information on seeding you can take a look at a previous blog post on over seeding.  For those who are utilizing sod:  Make certain that you cut the sod to fit the damaged area as close as you can.  Try and find a sod grass type that matches your existing lawn.  A majority of lawns in our area use a Kentucky Blue Grass.
  4. Water the new grass area.  Depending on sod or grass seed your repair will need more water than the main part of the lawn.  You can use a sprinkler attached to a hose to water that specific area more often than your automated system will do.
  5. Restrict traffic in new areas.  This will help ensure all your hard work is not undone by a neighborhood lawn bully walking in your lawn!
  6. Watch it grow!  Soon your new grass will fill in and blend with the rest of the lawn.  Usually within 3 weeks both sod and seed will be coming in nicely and will be ready to be cut with a mower.

6 simple steps to repairing your lawn, saving you lots of hassle and embarrassment!  If you are unsure your lawn capabilities or need help diagnosing the root cause of the damage in the first place, keep us in mind and give us a call!  www.weedmanboise.com

 

 

 

 

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4 comments

  1. Good advice, none the less there are a few situations where it probably is better to start over. For example, in my experience if a lawn is north facing and suffers from a lack of sunlight then it’s probably going to be a sorry mish-mash of weeds, moss and patches of fairly unsuccessful grass. In this case I would be inclined to replace the whole lawn with a tougher grass type that is able to thrive in low sunlight conditions

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