Answer: April/May and the month of September are the best times to renovate an old lawn. ? First, aerate the old lawn by renting a core aerator to poke holes all over the old turf.
Mow the old lawn as short as possible to cut the tops off of weeds.
If your lawn has lots of low spots or drains poorly, rake two inches of sand in those areas to level the lawn.
Now is the important part. You need to spread an organic based fertilizer first and then add at least 2 inches of good topsoil or compost right on top of the old lawn. More and more companies are making an organic based lawn food as we realize the dangers of quick release chemical nitrogen. Look for slow release nitrogen from Lily Miller, Ringer, Safer and Whitney Farms brand of fertilizer.
Rake and level the new topsoil and then sprinkle a mix of lawn seed, making sure to choose a mixture with the improved patented lawn seed varieties. Do not use a single type of grass such as all blue grass or all bent grass.
Water regularly if rain is sparse. The old lawn will push up through the soil layer that will smother most of the weeds, and by using organic based lawn foods, the earthworms will return and help do the work of aerating and feeding your new turf.
The most popular turfgrasses in your region include:
Kentucky Bluegrass; A medium-textured turfgrass, it is best suited to welldrained soils and moderate to high levels of sunlight and management. It is established from seed or sod.
Tall Fescue; A moderately coarse-textured turfgrass, it is tolerant of a wide range of soil types and climatic extremes. Best suited to areas where low to moderate management levels are provided. It is established from seed or sod.
Perennial ryegrass is a cool-season grass and performs best at higher elevations (> 1000 feet). The most common use for perennial ryegrasses is in a mixture with Kentucky bluegrass where the perennial ryegrass component is less than 15 percent by weight. A pure perennial ryegrass lawn is not recommended. Annual (Italian) ryegrass provides rapid germination and fast growth but is suitable only where a temporary turf is desired since it lives for only one year.
Regular watering and mowing should continue throughout the autumn. Next spring, put your lawn on a regular feeding schedule (April, June, September and late November) to keep it lush and thick enough to crowd out weeds.
Best wishes with your lawn!
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