The Q&A Archives: Greening up the lawn

Question: Our lawn is awfully full of weeds and it is brown. What can I do to green it up?

Answer: Most lawn failures can be traced to poor soil preparation at the very beginning, along with poor maintenance practices, and, in some cases, poorly selected lawn grass varieties. When a lawn is in truly bad shape, it can be preferable in the long run to start over from scratch. If you want to try to renovate the lawn, begin by having the soil tested to determine the pH and nutrient levels. Dig out as many weeds as you can, then spread a thin (1/4-inch) layer of compost over the entire lawn. Overseed with an appropriate lawn grass, keep the area watered, and mow regularly. Put your grass on a regular feeding schedule (April, June, September and December) and it will become lush and thick. Healthy grass will outcompete most weeds, so if you can get the sod in good shape, you'll go a long way toward controlling unwanted invaders.

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