What Is Lawn Renovation?

Let’s say that you have tried everything to have a better lawn but nothing has worked. It may be due to a drought or pets or extensive shaded areas that just don’t let in enough sun. No matter what the reason, your lawn may look yellow or even brown in some places. If this is the case, your lawn may benefit from a lawn renovation.

What is a lawn renovation? Basically, a renovation involves killing the existing turf and then going in and seeding new grass. It usually does not include tilling or total removal of the old turf (but tilling may be required in some cases). But by renovating your lawn, you don’t change the grade of it like you would when setting in a brand new lawn. It takes a bit of work but it is not too hard to do. This article will tell you exactly how to do it plus give you the benefits from a lawn renovation.

Why Renovate A Lawn

Why renovate a lawn? Many lawns suffer from drought, pets, or disease. Renovation can be used to fill in these dead patches, repair damage, or blend in a new species of grass. There are many reasons to renovate your lawn. One of the big benefits is that it is cheaper than buying and installing all new turf. When you renovate, you are still using the existing turf but just reseeding it. By renovating, you can put it a new seed of grass that is more resistant to drought, more water efficient, and more durable. If your lawn is mostly in the shade, you can choose a type of grass that thrives in shaded areas. When renovating, you can use a new variety of the same turf that is already there or you can choose a new species that is similar looking to the original.

How Do You Renovate A Lawn


The best time to renovate your lawn is going to vary depending on the type of grass and elevation of the site. For cool-season grass, you can seed anytime between March and September. Seeding warm-season grasses can be done between April and July. Anytime after July is not recommended because the climate tends to get too dry and too hot. Warm-season grasses should never be used in elevations higher than 7,000 feet. Never seed any type of grass after frost because the seedlings will likely be winterkilled.

There are several steps to take in order to renovate your lawn. The first thing you want to do is to kill the existing grass (and weeds, if there are any) with a non-selective herbicide. There are many brands of products on the market to do the job. Whichever you choose you should carefully read the directions for use. Most of the products come in a spray form. Take the herbicide and thoroughly spray the entire area you want to renovate. Allow this area to dry and then come back in after several days and spray any areas that still look green.

Once the turf is dead, you will want to mow your yard in order to remove the dead stuff. The ideal is to have a layer of thatch less than an inch thick. Thatch, by the way, is the layer of matted organic matter at the base of your grass. If the thatch is longer than an inch, you will need to remove it. The best thing to use is a sod cutter. After you have mowed it to the proper height, remove all the cut debris from the lawn. If the soil is packed and hard, you may have to go over it lightly with a tiller to break up the soil and thatch.

Next you will want to put out your new grass seed. By using a spreader, drop the new grass seed onto the exposed soil, making sure the seed has good contact with the dirt. Whatever seed you get, read the directions for the proper rate to set the spreader. An average setting should be around 8 pounds per 1000 square foot. Run the spreader in two different directions over the entire area. Afterwards, you may want to take a rake and lightly rake the soil to work the seeds in deeper. You do not have to cover the area with more soil like you do with traditional planting but some experts recommend a very thin layer of peat moss, just enough to cover the seeds. After you have covered the area, water it all in thoroughly.

How Do You Care For A Lawn After Renovation

Lawns that have been newly renovated have to be cared for a little differently than an established lawn. It is recommended that after the first watering, you apply a starter fertilizer. Again, read the label on proper application or you could damage your new seeds. You need to make sure that the ground area is consistently moist. Do not saturate the soil or the seeds will rot.

As the seeds germinate they will push up, even through the peat moss if it was used. Once the grass gets over two to three inches tall, you can mow it. Once it gets that tall, you can stop keeping the ground so moist and can go back to your regular watering routine. Try to keep children and pets off the area until the grass has had a chance to grow and get mowed several times. You want the new lawn to be durable before you let a lot of traffic go across it.