How to Repair a Lawn
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How to Repair Winter Lawn Damage
Each winter all of our lawns incur some damage. If
heavy snow lays in one area too long it can cause snow
mold which can kill grass. Or usually we all incur some
kind of “snow plow” damage, or somebody drives off the
driveway leaving a muddy track in the lawn. Whatever
the case, it has to be repaired for the lawn to look
Repairing lawn damage is easy enough to do. The secret
is to get out there early and get it repaired before it
gets really hot because intense sun makes it really
difficult to establish new grass. There are no secrets
to planting grass seed, but there are a few tips that
I’d like to share with you.
First of all, loosen up the soil by whatever means it
takes. In order for grass to grow nicely you have to
start with loose soil. If you put grass seed on hard
packed soil as soon as it rains all the seed washes into
the lowest area. If the soil is loose, the rain soaks
in and kind of permanently put the seed in it’s place.
Buy grass seed that is a blend of several different types
of grasses. Kentucky Blue Grass is great, but it takes
28 days to germinate and usually before that happens
the weeds take over, the birds eat the seed, or the seed
gets washed away. If you get a blend of grass seed that
contains a fescue, a couple of kinds of perennial rye
grass and some Kentucky Blue Grass, you’ll get quick
germination from the perennial rye grass, and that acts
as a nurse crop protecting the Kentucky Blue until it
has a chance to germinate.
Cheap grass seed is cheap. It often contains ugly
thick bladed grasses that you don’t want in your lawn.
You don’t have to buy the most expensive grass seed on
the market, but you should be a few notches above the
New grass seed really likes a little bit of shade as it
establishes itself. Straw makes a great mulch because
straw sits above the soil and actually shades those little
tiny seeds. But straw can be messy, and it can be hard
to find. In that case you can use the green seed starter
mulch. It works pretty good and contains starter fertilizer.
To plant the seed just sprinkle it over the loose soil. You
should apply the grass seed at a rate of 5 to 6 pounds per
1,000 square feet. After you apply the grass seed take a
broom or a leaf rake and gently drag the tool over the area
you seeded. Turn the leaf rake upside down so it doesn’t dig
into the soil. This covers the seed with a very light layer
of soil, or at least presses the seed into the soil. Then
apply your mulch or straw.
Water immediately and water on a regular basis. Allow the
soil to dry slightly between waterings, but just ever so
slightly. In about 5 or 6 days you will start to see tiny
grass plants. Make sure to not miss any waterings as these
tiny plants try to establish themselves. It is really,
really important to keep new grass watered on a regular
basis. New grass plants are as thin as a human hair and
even the shortest time without water and they will die.
Once that happens they are gone forever because the seed is
spent, and the new plant has failed.
And that’s why so many people have trouble establishing
new grass. They do everything right, up to the point of
keeping up with the watering. They do okay for the first
few days, then they forget.
That’s why it’s so much easier to plant grass now, because
in the spring the watering is less critical. The grass
should be watered, but while you are at work your new
grass will be fine until you get home. In the middle of
summer that’s not the case.
Now go plant some grass!
My book, Easy Plant Propagation” makes an excellent
gift for the gardener in your life. Surprise somebody
with a signed copy!
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Take care, have a great day and by all means stay inspired!