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Complete lawn makeover

Lawn Problems 001.jpgHello-

Please explain in exact order of step's"starting" with first to last exactly how to transform my weeded,bare,patchy,dead & brown lawn

I live in a suburb of Detroit Mi, and have included a picture to hopefully assist with fixing the lawn,I assume this is a Farley medium size project so any other information I did not include please let me know and I'll answer immediately.

Thank you

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Posted 2012-09-20T16:54:56+0000  by willist willist

Howdy Willist,


It looks like your lawn definately is in need of an overhaul so let's see what your options are for a great looking lawn.


Here are the steps for putting a new lawn:


1) Take a Shovel and Mattock to the old lawn and dig down about 2-4 inches down.

2) Now you would need to create a "grade" this slight angle is so the water has somewhere to go.

3) Use a seed spreader/broadcaster to evenly drop the seed on your soil.

4) Cover the seed with about a half inch of seeding soil to help it germinate quickly.

5) Water the new seed twice a day for two weeks and there you go...the new lawn will be peeking out from the ground.


You have other choices like:


A) Plant Tall Fescue seed to have new grass. If you decide to plant seed you will need: the seed, topping soil, and shovel.


B) Order Sod at you local Home Depot at least a week before you decide to install it. Besides the Sod you will need Topper


C) Install a Synthetic Lawn. The new types look just like real grass...really. You usually can order it installed or buy the materials from The Home Depot.


D) Groundcover is a great alternative to a lawn. Plants like; Hostas, Pachysandra, Leptinella, Veronica repens, and others are available depending on your location. I recommend low growing plants to keep a uniform look.


After you've decided what you want to do you'll need to get the; seed, sod, materials, or plants needed.


Tip: Do not simply till old turf in with the underlying soil. This can lead to a number of future lawn problems such as fungus growth and it makes it harder to grade the soil.


Happy Gardening,

Posted 2012-09-21T01:07:48+0000  by Dave_HD_OC

Hi willist,


Welcome to our community and thank you for your question.  Coach Dave has some very good info.  If you did not want to completely dig up your whole lawn, there is another approach you might consider.  I see by your picture that you do have a lot of grass still in your yard.  I would:


  1. Grab a garden rake or fan rake and rough up the dead areas first and then
  2. Add some good quality seeding soil to the roughed up areas
  3. Re-seed with same type of grass seed
  4. Put a sun/shade mix in the shady portions of your yard like the one in your picture.
  5. Cover the seed with the seeding soil or Lawn Soil

Garden Rake.jpgFan rake1.jpg

The area in your picture that has shade may need to have a different seed mix than the area that has full sun.  I also noticed that the yards around you do not seem to be experiencing the same issue as your lawn does.  What are they doing differently?


Rebel Tall Fescue.jpgScotts Sun-Shade Mix.jpgPennington sun-shade mix.jpg


I would also use a hand weeding tool to pull up the weeds that you can see like the two in your picture.

                                       Hand weed & Dandilelyon Puller 2.jpg     


How often do you water? How long do you water?  When do you water?  Watering in the morning is best for your grass.  It hydrates the grass so it can stand up to the heat of the day.  Watering at night can create a fungus and by the time the morning arrives, your grass is thirsty again.  What type of sprinklers do you have??  When was the last time you checked how well the sprinklers are working?


In addition to using your garden rake, adding topper and re-seeding, aerating your lawn is another good solution.  By using an aerating machine, you will be making small holes in your lawn to allow air, water and nutrients to get to the root system of the grass easier. 


Aerating Machine Front view.jpgAerating Machine rear view2c- 0 00 00-01.jpgAerating Machine.jpg



After aerating your lawn:

  1. Spread the seeding soil over the whole lawn as needed, (Use a compost roller if available) putting more on seeding soil on the bare areas
  2. Over seed existing lawn, putting more seed on bare areas
  3. Put a sun/shade mix in the areas shaded by the trees
  4. Cover the seed with a 1/8 to no more than 1/4 inch of topper
  5. Add a starter fertilizer after you have covered the newly seeded areas
  6. Water frequently in the early to late morning hours.  Do not water in the evening.
  7. Set you sprinkler time to 5-7 minutes per cycle for the first 7-10 days
  8. Water the newly seed areas several times a day to keep the topper damp  but not wet

Scotts Lawn soil.jpgCompost Spreader.jpgScotts Starter Fertilizer.jpg


In about 7-10 days, you should be seeing new grass coming up.  After you start seeing new grass, decrease the number of times you water, but increase the duration.  The idea is to keep the amount of water you are putting onto the lawn in pace with the depth of the root system of your grass.  As the roots of the grass go deeper, you will want to water deeper or longer but less often.


Be sure to take pictures of your lawns progress and share them with the rest of the gardening community here at The Home Depot.  Best of success with your lawn.  I hope my suggestions have been helpful.

View my video here.


This has been another of,

Posted 2012-09-21T22:17:45+0000  by Rick_HD_OC
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