Sometimes, things happen that are outside our control. You might have a bad hurricane season, a super dry summer, a harsh winter, or an outbreak of fungal disease in the area. These things, as well as other factors, can cause a lawn to take on a dead, withered appearance.
We can’t control the weather, and we can’t protect our lawn against every possible environmental factor. But if you’re dealing with a dead or damaged lawn, you can restore it to its former glory. Or, better yet, you can completely transform your lawn into a lush, green landscape.
So how do you repair and restore a damaged lawn? Here’s some simple lawn treatment tips.
How To Repair A Damaged Lawn
Get rid of the dead turf.
Dead grass will not magically come back to life, so you need to remove any dead patches of grass. Just because it’s discolored doesn’t mean it’s dead, however: dead grass can be lifted out of the yard very easily since the roots are no longer deep in the soil.
Sod dead patches.
After getting rid of your dead turf, you need to replace it with new grass. Our lawn care professionals recommend using sod. Sod is the more expensive option, but if you can afford it, we highly recommend it over simply adding grass seed. It’s more forgiving to watering and is much better at resisting weeds.
If you’re going to use seed, we recommend adding seed when soil temperatures are above 50 degrees F.
When it comes to new seed, you need to make sure it’s well watered before and after it sprouts. New grass is particularly susceptible to drying out and dying. Make sure to water new grass every day, preferably with a light mist, for about 15 minutes at a time. The soil needs to remain moist otherwise the seeds will not germinate, and sprouted seed will die.
Replace any hard or compacted soil.
Hard soil happens when the soil compacts in on itself and becomes tightly packed.
Aeration is the way to prevent this from happening to your soil. However, if the soil is already hard, aeration will likely not help much. To test this, water your lawn thoroughly and then try and stick a 6” screwdriver. If you can’t do this, then the soil is too hard and likely needs to be replaced.
You shouldn’t need to replace your entire lawn’s soil, though: only some spots should be hard due to foot traffic.
To replace hard soil, dig up the soil with a shovel and break it up. Then, take the broken up dry soil and move it to a different area of your lawn or garden (or, simply put it in a yard bag for later use or disposal). Replace the soil with a softer, less compact soil.
Maintenance For Damaged Lawns
Fertilize your lawn several times a year. At least, apply fertilizer in late fall and early-mid spring. This way, the grass gets nutrients to survive the winter while also getting fertilizer right before peak growing season. Scheduled fertilizer will help keep your lawn beautiful year round!
Aerate your lawn several times a year. Aerating is simple and can be done with a plug or spike aerator. This helps loosen up the soil and prevent it from compacting into a tight mess.
Water your lawn adequately, according to the lawn’s needs. Give it about an inch to an inch and a half every week. Keep an eye on weather forecasts: if heavy rain is expected, you don’t need to water your lawn.