Your Timeline and Steps for Lawn Renovation

Spring is just around the corner and your lawn's bad ... real bad ... bad enough to make your neighbors avert their gaze. It's time to consider a lawn renovation.

Generally speaking, a lawn renovation is needed when the grass worth saving is 50% or less than the total area of your lawn.

Proper Lawn Renovation Timing

But when your lawn’s in such bad shape, regrowing and keeping a nice lawn is all about proper timing. Here are the most important steps to take when you need a lawn renovation.

The very first step is to recognize that all the “groundwork” you do now is crucial to preparing for the most important, possibly expensive and intensive step, the actual planting of grass seed, which should be done in the fall.

Proper Preparation for a Lawn Renovation Project

Here is where I worry. Some folks are prone to not read ALL of the directions before starting a project or else they cut people off mid-explanation with an 'I got it' when they don't 'got it' … in short, most guys … will stop reading and put their lawn worries off until fall. For all of you needing lawn renovation, KEEP READING!

To ensure that your fall renovation seeding results in that dream lawn, it will take four to six months of preparation and six to nine months of proper follow-up.

First things first. To properly prepare your lawn, you will need to get the soil tested before it can be corrected with the right amendments. At Bio Green, we send our soil samples to the Virginia Tech Cooperative Extension Soil Testing Lab. There is a right way to sample the soil and dozens of wrong ways. That pint of soil you send off needs to accurately represent the thousands of pounds of soil left behind that you'd like to grow grass. Review the information in our Learning Center article on how to pull a soil sample or have a professional do it.

Once test results come back, the recommended soil corrections should be applied well in advance of seeding as some take months to work their way sufficiently deep in the soil to be effective.

Control Weeds

The other major preparatory 'must do' is controlling weeds. The lawn should be as close to weed-free as you can get it before any grass seed goes in the ground. It will take multiple applications to gain control of the weeds, the last of which must be at least three weeks before you seed (herbicides will hurt the seed/young grass). Weeds steal space, water and nutrients from the grass so you have to knock them out before seeding.

There may be some other site-specific prep needed like solving drainage or erosion issues, but the most important and time-consuming tasks for lawn renovations are correcting soil chemistry and clearing out the weeds.

There are several methods for seeding once fall rolls around. At Bio Green, we perform core aeration to loosen and aerate the soil before planting our BG Elite Turf Type Tall Fescue seed with a slice seeder (looks like a series of circular saw blades that knife the seed into the soil). With proper watering, the seed should germinate in two to three weeks and require its first cut by the sixth week after sprouting.

Proper Lawn Renovation Preparation is only Half the Battle

It’s important to remember that proper preparation and successful seed germination is only half the battle to cultivating a lush, gorgeous lawn. The renovation is not complete until you get your new lawn through its first summer. While the grass will look very good the following spring after being planted, don't be fooled! Do not treat it like a well-established lawn with a generic watering program. Even with a top-quality seed like BG Elite, your new, shallow-rooted turf will not hold up to summer stress without a tailored program of feeding, pest control and deep, infrequent watering.

A successful lawn renovation does not happen overnight, but with careful preparation, planting, germination and rigorous follow-through, your lawn can become the envy of your neighbors. With more than three decades of experience cultivating lawns in the Northern Virginia region, Bio Green can readily assist you with your lawn renovation needs – give us a call to learn more.