The Q&A Archives: lawn quick fix

Question: We are putting our house on the market in a few weeks and want to get the lawn looking green again. We have 2 dogs that have done a number on the lawn. We have moved their fence so they no longer run on the area we are seeding. Is it enough to go over the ground with a firm rake then spread the seed and fertilizer? We do not want to invest alot of money into this project, as we are leaving. Just looking for some curb appeal. We have the grass seed and fertiler alreader and have thoroughly spread lime about a week ago.

Answer: That is probably the best you can do; you might also want to scratch in some good quality compost and loosen the soil down about six inches in those bare spots. This will mix the lime through the soil and the looser soil also allows the roots to grow faster and stronger once the seed germinates -- so that the new grass becomes established a bit quicker. You will also have to water if rainy weather does not keep the soil moist for you.

For the overall lawn, invest in a good quality lawn fertilizer with some slow release nitrogen as well as "immediate greening" so that the lawn is fed continuously over several months rather than all at once. This will help green it up without making it grow overly fast this spring. One of the biggest aspects of curb appeal is a tidy lawn, and that means mowing frequently enough that you never remove more than one third of its height.

Good luck with the sale!

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