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How to Redo a Lawn

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Redoing or starting a new lawn is called for if your turf grass problems are severe. Planting new grass seeds may not be sufficient to fix the problem; homeowners must identify and address the underlying issues that led to the grass demise. Thick thatch, soil compaction and a high weed population prevent new grass from establishing. Homeowners must prepare the soil for grass seeds for a successful, thick-growing turf.

Spray your lawn with a broad-spectrum herbicide that contains glyphosate to remove existing grass. Glyphosate kills existing turf by inhibiting its ability to produce proteins. Wait at least two weeks before sowing grass seeds.

Push a power dethatcher across the lawn to remove dead grass and thick thatch. A thick-thatch layer of over 1/2 inch contributes to poor grass root establishment and prevents grass seeds, which must have adequate soil contact, from germinating. Rake up the dead lawn debris.

Push a core aerator over the lawn. Core aerators remove plugs of soil to increase airflow and soil drainage.

Pour starter fertilizer into a rotary spreader and distribute over the yard. Starter fertilizer is high in phosphorous, which encourages strong grass seedling development. Distribute a starter fertilizer with a NPK amount of 5-10-5 at a rate of 20 lbs. per 1,000 square feet. Work the starter fertilizer into the first 2 to 4 inches of soil.

Broadcast grass seed over the soil. The amount that you distribute depends on the type of grass you are growing. For instance, Kentucky bluegrass is distributed at a rate of 2 to 3 lbs. per 1,000 square feet. Cover the grass seed with 1/8 inch compost. Water the lawn.


Keep the soil moist while the grass seeds are germinating. Dry soil prevents grass seed germination.


Avoid planting grass seed in the summer. Grass seed has a difficult time germinating and spreading when temperatures are hot.

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