How to Renovate an Old Lawn

Completely renovating an old lawn should be thought of like renovating a house – it’s a drastic, but sometimes necessary thing to do to help your curb appeal and improve your investment. Just like there are many ways to improve a home without such drastic measures, there are also ways to revive a lawn without doing a complete renovation.

For example, patching or overseeding your yard can help fill in those bare spots and you can also treat diseases and pests that could be causing the damage. While that is true, there are times when only a full renovation will fix an old lawn.

Why would you need a complete lawn renovation?

Generally speaking, you would want to consider a full renovation of your lawn if the problem areas total about 40% or more on your lawn. If it is less than that, you can most likely resolve your problems without an entire renovation.

Other reasons that you may need to consider renovation:

  • Your grass is the wrong choice for your climate or yard: For example, if you have a cool-season grass in a warm-season climate, it’s best to just do a complete lawn renovation, instead of having severe growing problems year after year. Or if your yard does not get much sunlight, you should pick a grass that can thrive without needing a lot of sunlight.
  • Your lawn is severely affected by disease or weeds: In these cases, you will need to treat the underlying causes as well, to make sure that it doesn’t happen again when your new lawn comes in.
  • There are drainage issues that are causing problems. Your drainage problems will need to be fixed before the new lawn is installed.

When is the best time for renovation?

You want to start your renovations late summer or early fall, although they can technically be done at other times of the year as well, with the exception of during a cold winter. The idea is to find the peak growing season for lawns in your area, so the grass will grow quicker.


The Lawn Doctor Steps for Renovating an Old Lawn

When working with you on your renovation, your local Lawn Doctor technician will walk you through the steps that will need to be taken to renovate your old lawn. Some of these steps include:

  1. Kill or dig up the existing lawn.
    Our technicians can either apply products to kill everything on the existing lawn, or we can physically remove it via tilling. We will also rake the area to clear it of any thatch and debris.
  2. Take care of any underlying issue that was causing the problems in the first place.
    For example, if weeds have stopped the lawn from growing, we would treat the underlying weed problem as part of the lawn renovation. We would also fix any drainage issues that caused the problems and install an irrigation system for you as well.
  3. Find the correct grass species for your lawn.
    At Lawn Doctor, we have decades of experience in knowing what treatments are best for your type of grass, and because our franchises are locally owned and operated, we know what type of treatment is just right for your area. We can also help you find a lawn that is less resistant to drought if your area is facing severe water restrictions.
  4. We will prepare the soil to get it ready for planting new grass.
    Preparations can include treatments such as additional raking or lawn aeration. We may also wet the soil to have it more malleable for the new seeds. In some cases, our technicians will put fertilizer in the soil, or further treat it to make sure weeds stay away. This depends on your individual situation.
  5. Planting the proper seeds for your lawn and then fertilize and water the lawn as it grows.
    If needed your local Lawn Doctor technician can put in sod instead of the seeds. It is important to be gentle with your lawn at this stage. We will be careful not to over-fertilize or over-saturate your lawn, as it would be counterproductive.
  6. Wait until the grass is about three inches lawn before mowing
    Many of our local Lawn Doctor locations offer lawn maintenance services, which can make sure your lawn mower is at its best when you decide to start mowing. A dull blade can do damage to your new lawn you worked so hard for. We can also offer you tips and guidance on the best ways to cut your grass to keep it healthy enough to prevent diseases.

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