Restoring a tired lawn allows you to improve your lawn without removing the existing turf. You will have the best chance of success if you do a thorough walk-through of your lawn checking both above and below ground.
Your lawn is a good candidate for restoration if:
Some grass blades are thin or have a yellow/green look.
Turf cover is even with small areas of soil or wear.
Some bare soil is the result of water erosion, but there should not be standing water on the lawn.
Less than one half of your lawn is covered with weeds.
There are only minor bumps and depressions.
Grass roots are 3- to 6-inches long.
A spade penetrates easily to 3- or 4-inches.
There is at least one earthworm in a spade full of soil.
The thatch layer is no more than ½- to 1-½ inches thick.
Soil top layer is 3- to 5-inches deep.
If conditions are worse than outlined above you will need to remove the turf, improve the soil, and replant.
The best time to begin restoration is late summer or early fall, although adjusting pH and dethatching can be done in the spring to prepare for a fall restoration. You will see some improvement in a restored lawn during the season in which you begin, but you will need two or three growing seasons to see dramatic progress.
While restoring your lawn is not nearly as labor intensive as removing all of your turf and starting over, it will require several weekends of work.
Written by Joan Maloof,
Photographs by Robert Llewellyn
Trees don't have two eyes like we do, yet they can see. They know how much light is hitting their leaves, and they know the quality of that light, too. They know if it's summer or winter by the length of the day, and they know if it's noon or afternoon by the wavelength of the light.
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