The Q&A Archives: Revitalizing a Lawn

Question: My wife and I purchased a small home on three-quarters of an acre about six months ago. In Maryland here, there was little rainfall last summer and consequently the grass doesn't look very healthy. My question: How can I revitalize my lawn (and replant some bald spots where I have removed bushes) without completely removing all of the existing grass and planting again? (Note: The soil is sandy like most of this region near the Chesapeake Bay.)<br><br>

Answer: Do all the lawns in your area look similar? It could be that the lawn will pick up once spring arrives, and you don't need to do anything drastic. You might consider spreading a fertilizer--there are many good natural fertilizers on the market that will help increase the humus content of your soil, which will, in turn, increase its water-holding capacity. You could even spread a thin layer of dehydrated cow manure and/or topsoil, and re-seed the entire lawn, but that's a big job.<br><br>I would fill in the bare spots with topsoil, then seed them with a standard lawn mix. The lawn may look patchy this spring, but once it's all nice and green I don't think you'll notice. Just be sure to keep any spots you've just seeded watered until the grass gets established.<br><br>

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