We hear of failed lawn seeding attempts far too often. Homeowners go to great lengths in seeding lawns, but often end up missing vital pieces of information which leads to failure. We relish the opportunity in improving lawns from all starting positions - the good, the bad and the ugly. We enjoy the labour and results of our Lawn Renovations, but a DIY lawn renovation is possible with the correct machinery, materials and plenty of hard work. This blog post aims to take you through a emergency turnaround for your lawn - a Lawn Makeover guide!
If your reason for wanting to get stuck into your lawn is due to thin grass, patchiness, moss, thatch, or a combination, then scarifying your lawn is the starting point. This operation works to clean out unwanted material which is choking your grass. Scarifying also works to open up the soil surface when using a machine with fixed blades which is vital for cutting into those thin and patchy areas ready for seeding later. Start by mowing your lawn on the lowest sensible setting. This will allow your scarifier to get stuck into the thatch and soil surface without tearing at healthy grass leaves. When scarifying, we recommend a machine with fixed blades, rather than a wire rake type of machine. Blades will allow you to access the soil surface where there is a layer of moss and thatch.
If unsure on how aggressive to be with the scarifier, play it safe - all the more so when considering this work away from the ideal time of August and September. You can always repeat the work again come early-autumn if needs be, or speak to us about our services. You may find yourself just scarifying the lawn in one direction, or multiple. If your machine has a collector, you may find this pretty useless if doing a thorough job on a lawn with plenty of moss and thatch to remove. Again, this may not be wise to attempt in one go. The complete eradication of moss and thatch is rarely achievable nor may it be desirable. Be sure to clear up in full after scarifying the lawn. Use of rakes or a blower may be needed here. A mow on that same lower height of cut would be ideal at this point in time to really hoover that debris out of the lawn.
Spiking, Overseeding and Top-Dressing
The level of scarifying that your lawn may have required will have been variable, but the work at this stage cannot be defaulted on. With heaps of moss, thatch, and weak grasses removed from your lawn we need to be sowing grass seed into the soil of the lawn in order to give us the best chance of success.
Spike the lawn, with focus on the bare areas where we really need strong germination. The more holes and grooves we have, the better the seed will do. Seed the whole lawn, with additional seed for the thinnest areas of grass. From here, consider lightly brushing the seed into the holes / grooves already made, and consider using a thin layer of top-dressing (fine soil) over the top of the worst or uneven areas. Ongoing Care
Like growing any other plant, grass must be sown into soil and then kept warm and moist for the best possible growth. If there is no rainfall, water your repaired lawn every day to keep the top half an inch of soil damp. Do not allow the soil to waterlog - little and often to keep the seed damp is excellent. With this work completed during May - September, you should see germination from the seed between 7-12 days dependent on natural rainfall and soil temperature. If after three weeks there are some patchy areas, give the lawn a cut, and repeat step 2 with working a little more seed into the area. It is easy to end up with seed which is too deep, too shallow, or end up with unhelpful weather conditions. With your freshened-up lawn coming good, ongoing care is vital for it to continue to improve and get the most out of your hard work to this point. Apply a slow release fertiliser to help the new grasses in their development, and continue to mow as frequently as required. If weeds are an issue, consider weeding by hand. You must hold a PA1 licence to purchase a professional selective herbicide, but there are options for domestic products from garden centres. Always read the label, particularly with applying such a product close to seeding - you may need to encourage the grasses to establish for a 2-3 month period before such an application of a DIY product. There you have it - your DIY summer lawn renovation for the fastest possible turnaround!
How do we go about lawn care?
Our customers have an experienced technician on hand to help with ongoing advice should they choose to take on projects themselves - alternatively our Lawn Renovation is the real deal with a guarantee on a full seed germination when carried out in August / September, with safe and effective weed and moss control surrounding a Repair and Renovation Visit. The short video below quickly shows some of the specialist machinery we possess for this kind of work. If we can be of further help, don't hesitate to give us a call on 01827 826123 or complete our contact form here.