Is Your Lawn Full of Weeds? Now it is time to Restore The Lawn
Step 1 – Kill The Weeds
If you have a lawn that is full of weed as the one in our photo, best way to restore it is to kill the weeds first. Be sure to give it a second application once the weeds start to die. You want to be sure that all the weeds and seed are now dead.
Step 2 – Wait For Weeds To Die
Wait a week or two for all the weed killer to disappear and to make sure the weeds are all dead and the ground is ready to receive seed or sod.
Step 3 – Prepare The Soil
Once the lawn is free of any weeds you can rent a power rake to clear out all the dead weeds and prepare the soil for seed or sod. If you feel you can’t do this, we suggest you call a lawn maintenance company like John McEvoy who can do this for you. In many cases you can save your time and money too.
Renting power equipment can cost upwards of $40 or more for a half day. Of course picking up the equipment and returning it to the rental location is not an easy task. Even witih a truck you will most likely need additional help to load it.
Should you decide on a Do-It-Yourself approach and want to rent the necessary equipment, we recommend C.A. Power Equipment, on Highway 34 in Matawan. Ask for Tony Macchia their manager and let them know you heard about them from the Hazlet News. They can also deliver and pickup this equipment for you at additional cost.
Step 4 – Do Not Use A Rototiller
This homeowner did and made a mess of his lawn. Frustrated with his lack of knowledge and hard work, he simply decided to give up and never planted grass seed or laid down sod.
His lawn is now left with large clumps of hard soil and the only way to clean this up is to get a smaller tiller that can break the heavy soil chunks up. Then he would still need to power rake the lawn to smooth it out.
Step 5 – Soil Preparation
We suggest a better way to prepare your lawn for seed or so is to rent a power rake. Once the weeds are dead you can rake the soil and prepare it properly. You will want to remove all the dead material and get the land ready for sod or seed.
I would suggest ordering some top soil and fill any low spots and spread at least an inch of soil over the reaming property so you have good soil to start your grass seed or sod. It is also recommended that you rent a roller to roll the seed into the soil and it will also give you a nice even, flat surface. This is the best way to assure a good result when the grass starts to grow.
Step 6 – Underground Irrigation System
For many years I struggled to maintain my lawn. Moving sprinklers around the lawn and watering at the wrong times of the day caused large areas of my lawn to die. I also have invasive seeds and had to use weed killer to wipe out most of it. As you can see in the photo, I had large areas of dead grass.
I finally decided it was time to bite the bullet and install an underground Sprinkler System and called upon Quality Irrigation to do the job. Darren Kauffman the owner not only installed a 6 zone system but also repaired the lawn using Sod from Brookrest Farms. In two weeks you can see the incredible results.
My Lawn Before And After
You can see some photos of my lawn before having a sprinkler system installed. Once the irrigation system was installed we replaced much of my lawn with Kentucky Blue Grass sod.
Of course if you prefer less maintenance and want to use a coarser fast growing grass there are many to choose from. Local stores sell mixes some for fast germination that contain rye seed and others. Perennial Ryegrass is and Fine Fescues are other favorites. For more info on the best seeds for New Jersey, click here.
Step 7 – Sprinklers Are The Way To Go
IMPORTANT…It pays to make the investment in an underground sprinkler system. You will save time and effort in trying to maintain a healthy lawn. I am a gardener and couldn’t get it right until I had Quality Irrigation install my system.
The cost of a new system can range from around $1500-$3000 for the average sized lawn, but that cost, amortized over 10 years is only $150 to $300 per year. Remember you will pay for the system in savings on water bills, fertilizer, weed killing chemicals and the cost of replacing portions or all of your lawn in a just a few years.
Step 8 – Seed or Sod?
I recommend using sod if you plan on having a Kentucky Blue Grass (Poa pratensis) lawn. This grass is the premium grass with a fine blade and feels like carpeting when you walk on the lawn. Best seeding time is spring or autumn, although it can be seeded throughout the year. Scott’s suggest you drop seed before the winter so that the seeds can start to come up in the Spring.
I bought my sod from Brookrest Sod Farm . I visit Steve at Brookrest each year to buy pieces of sod to replace poor areas of my lawn or areas where there was weed infestation, usually from my neighbors lawn. The cost of the sod is about $4-5 per 10 square foot depending on how much you buy.
If you do decide to seed, you will want to do it in the early Spring, beginning to mid April. You can buy a fast growing mix of seed or if you are like me and want a really great lawn you can attempt using Kentucky Blue Grass seed, however this is more of a challenge to grow from seed, this is why I prefer sod.
Step 9 – Seeding Your Lawn
Those using seed, should spread hay over the seed to prevent the seed from drying out and dying before the seed could germinate.
For the first two weeks or until the seeds begin to germinate it will be important to keep the lawn watered. This can be difficult if you have a large lawn and have to move sprinklers to cover the entire lawn. This is why the early spring is the best time to restore your lawn. Cool weather and rain will help you succeed.
Step 10 – Raking Your Lawn
Once the lawn takes root you and you can see the green grass starting to fill your lawn you can hand rake gently with a Lawn and Leaf Rake to remove the protective hay. You want to wait until the grass is established before raking or you may pull out the grass since the roots are not fully developed.
11 – Maintain A Watering Regimen
Any new lawn, seed or sod requires consistent watering until they start to take root. Best way is with a sprinkler system. I water at 3 AM in the morning, many people will water during the day time if they don’t have a sprinkler system and don’t realize that half of the water evaporates from the sun. The grass never receives the water it needs down to the roots.
If you have ever passed a golf course or other large grass areas you will notice they water late in the day, early morning or late at night .
12 – A Healthy Lawn Increases Property Value
Another benefit of a healthy well maintained lawn is not only the pride you feel coming home after a day of work and seeing your beautiful lawn and property, but the knowledge that you have increased the value of your home too. Homes sold that have nice “curb appeal” will sell for more money and faster than those that don’t.
13 – Maintain Your Lawn
I suppose one of the most important parts of this article is in lawn maintenance. Each year I fertilize the lawn as suggested by Scott’s website. Even when the last snow is on the ground many will give their lawn a treatment of early Spring Fertilizer. I gave mine a treatment the first few days of March and already my lawn is green when neighbors lawns are yellow.
I also have my lawn Aerated by Aeration Services a division of John McEvoy Lawn Maintenance. The reason is simple. Aerating the lawn now by professionals will punch small holes in the lawn that will allow air, water and needed nutrients to penetrate the grass-roots.
This will of course help the roots to grow deeper which will require less water and will promote stronger grass and give you a more vigorous lawn. It reduces water runoff, soil compaction and improves the fertilizer uptake. I would urge you to contact them and set up an appointment. You can see them aerating my lawn in this video.
Aeration Services: Tel: 732 375-0088
John McEvoy Lawn Maintenance: 732 431-7544 Email: John McEvoy For More Info
14 – How I Got Started In Gardening…
I publish four online publications and have been an avid gardener my entire life. When I was a small child our school in Brooklyn would let us order seeds for 3-5¢ from the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. The program encouraged school children to learn how to grow flowers and vegetables from seed. This started my passion and now at 76 years old, I still take great pride in my garden and enjoy the veggies we pull out of our garden each year.
15 – Organic Gardening – Vermiculture – Worm Castings
A few years ago I decided to go organic and bought a pound of Red Wiggler Worms that produce rich black worm castings for me each year. The “worm poop”, called castings is the finest organic fertilizer you can use in your garden or for your house plants.
I sell the excess castings and even the worms each year on Facebook and on Craig’s List because they multiply fast and I have so much excess that it helps support my garden expenses.
You can read my articles about starting your own Vermiculture system or to buy worm castings too. If you are interested in having the most beautiful garden and flowers, you must might want to buy some of my castings or start your own, I sell complete kits ready to go as well. Email me if interested.
Read my other articles on Composting on this site at: