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Renovating and Repairing a Lawn

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 15 Aug 2014 | comments*Discuss
 
Renovating Your Lawn Repairing Your Lawn

Every year there are a myriad of things that a gardener must do to keep the lawn living up to the expectations they had for it when it was first seeded; here are the most important.

Repairing Damaged Grass Patches

Source a fresh patch of grass from another area of your lawn where it will not be noticeable and remove it in the same way. You could if you wanted to, remove the affected patch of grass and plant new seed but this will take time to grow and bed itself with the existing grass so it is advisable - if possible - to take a sod of grass from another area to immediately replace it and keep the lawn looking uniform.

Once you have replaced the damaged piece of lawn you should liberally spread some fresh soil - or top dressing - over the area replaced and then brush it with a light brush so that the soil fills in the joins between the new and old grass and then sprinkle some grass seed, which will cover over the lines when grown.

When this is done it is a good idea to water your lawn - if weather conditions allow - and do this lightly using a sprinkler system or hose with sprinkler attachment. Watering the lawn allows the grass that has been used to replace the damaged grass the opportunity to feed and also will help with the germination of the grass seeds. Once this has been done place your plastic sheeting over the area of grass that has been replaced and hold it in place with some pegs. Some people use bricks but it is best not to do this as bricks only seek to flatten down the grass around that which has been renewed.

Leaving the plastic sheeting down overnight and early morning allows for the seeds to sink into the soil and prevents birds from feeding on it.

Removing Weeds

Manual control of the weeds is carried out either by removing them by hand or by gently prising them out with a hoe or a fork. Shallow rooting perennial weeds can be removed easily with a fork or with a firm grasp at the base of the stalk - this provides enough leverage to remove the bulbs and roots from the ground and leaves them with little or not chance of regrowth. It is best not to use a trowel if you are going to try digging them out as this will only severe the bulbs and multiply a previously contained problem.

Annual weeds too need to be removed from the ground either by hoeing first off or by hand weeding. This is best done on a dry sunny day so that the weeds are loosened easily from the soil.

Another way of weeding your lawn is to use a light rotavator. It is advisable to take extreme care using this method as it is easy to damage your lawn in the process but it can be done given the proper care and attention.

Repairing Damaged Edges

To repair a damaged edge you should have - as your tools for the job - a spade, a flat board, some plastic sheeting and a half moon edger and some grass seed.

The most effective way to replace a damaged edge is to cut a section of turf or grass from a healthy part of the lawn, preferably not too visible or likely to be damaged just as the edge has.

It is recommended that you cut a square of turf or grass about two inches in depth using the board as a means of measuring it out accurately and using your half moon edger - or spade - dig out the square of existing grass or turf and move it to where it needs to replace already damaged lawn. Once done then use your board to cut out the affected lawn edge. Again cut out a piece of turf or grass around the damaged area - and again roughly two inches in depth - and insert the section you have removed from a healthy part of the lawn.

Upon completing this part of the task it will be necessary to plant seed in the section you have just removed and then water thoroughly - using a sprinkler fitted watering can or hose with a sprinkler fitting. It is best not to water using direct force as this will only serve to waterlog that section and also wash away the grass seed. Then place your plastic sheeting over the area you have just reseeded and secure with some pegs. Leave overnight and remove the next day to allow help with germination.

Once you have replaced the edge there are still some things that you need to do. One of them is a process we have looked at in other articles called top-dressing. Using this proceed sprinkle soil over the join and brush it through the grass so that it fills in the join and then if necessary sprinkle some new grass seed, water and cover with sheeting overnight.

Bearing in mind that we have taken a section of turf or grass from elsewhere in the garden where it might have been flourishing well it may be necessary to trim the new edge using your half moon edger and also feed to ensure that this grass continues to flourish and bed itself in.

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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
I laid my turf about 7 weeks ago now on good soil and It was well watered. the problem I have is that it seems to only be growing in the original lines it came in and not spreading to other areas so leaving lines in between of emptiness, I maybe panicking to early!
stu - 15-Aug-14 @ 6:58 PM
The problem with taking some sod from elsewhere in the garden is that sometimes it just dies, despite my best efforts. It'll work in one place but not another, although I treat them the same way. Putting down seed does take longer, and you do have to look at those bare patches for a while, but I've never had it fail, so these days that's how I prefer to approach the problem. As to weeds, short of using a chemical weedkiller, you're never going to eliminate them fully.
William T - 2-Jul-12 @ 10:09 AM
I have successfully seeded a number of lawns.I set new luxury seed to renovate parts of my lawn by turning over the turf to a depth of 3 inches loosened the soil spread and raked in new luxury lawn seed and firmed the soil down.This spring has been quite warn and I watered the seed regularly but after three and half weeks there is no sign of germination - not one seed!!Do I have problem with the soil?..
Frank Hawley - 2-Apr-12 @ 9:47 AM
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