To restore your lawn to a state that you can be proud of, you will need to spend more effort than usual. It will take a lot of work, but it’s not an impossible task to accomplish. Getting to the bottom of an overgrown grass problem is a process that will require a bit of your patience.
A landscaping expert in Chesterfield, Virginia shares the following tips to help you give your overgrown lawn the makeover it deserves.
1. Identify the problem
Before you even start restoring your lawn to its previous glory, you need to identify the problem first. Without determining the problem/s, revamping your lawn right away can be a huge waste of time.
For instance, if there is an existing grub problem, you may have to treat for them before setting a new lawn. But if the problem involves too much shade, you may be better off investing in low maintenance ground cover types that love the shade.
2. Remove thatch buildup
Thatches are stems and roots near the soil surface that weren’t decomposed. They act as a barrier to air, nutrients, and water so they should be removed to ensure a healthy lawn. To reinvigorate your lawn, remove thatch by following these steps:
- Get down at ground level and examine your turf for a layer of thatch. They look like a matting of old grass stems that have grown together. If at least a 1-inch layer of thatch is present above the soil surface, you will need to dethatch your lawn.
- Use a thatching rake and run it over the grass. Dig deep enough to penetrate and pull the thatch to loosen it apart.
- Tidy up the area by raking the debris using a leaf rake.
- Water your lawn.
The best time to dethatch is during fall or spring when your lawn is thriving. It would take about three to four weeks for your lawn to recover and start showing new growth. Avoid mowing too high, overwatering, and fertilizing too much as they are the primary causes of thatch.
3. Reduce lawn height slowly
When your lawn becomes overgrown, the crown and thatch layer are raised. This is why you can’t simply take your mower and run it through because you may end up killing your lawn instead. Slowly ease your lawn height first using grass shears or hedge trimmers until the thatch layer and crown are at a normal height.
- Cut about one third off the grass height.
- Don’t cut anymore just yet and wait for a few days.
- Give your newly-cut grass water to keep it hydrated.
- After a week, cut another one-third off the grass.
- Wait for another week as, after some time, the crown and thatch will lower naturally and you will be able to mow it again as usual.
4. Clear weeds
More or less, an overgrown lawn will involve clearing weeds. To clear without using herbicides, you will need to cover the weeds and brush them with mulch. A layer of mulch will prevent sunlight from reaching the weeds and help suppress their growth.
Examples of organic mulches include:
- Bark chips
- Grass clippings
- Dead leaves
- Wood chips
Organic mulches are more effective when spread thickly. Spread a thick-textured mulch like wood chips to a depth of about four inches and a fine-textured mulch like sawdust to a depth of about two inches.
5. Give your lawn a fresh start
If more than half of your lawn needs help, you may be better off with starting from scratch. If you’re using seeds to replant a lawn, make sure to follow all the instructions on the package. This is crucial to prevent growing a thin and messy turf.
For equal seed application, consider spreading half of the grass seed in a northerly or southerly direction. Then, apply the other remaining half of your grass seed in an easterly or westerly direction. This will lessen the possibility of your lawn ending up with bare spots.
Hire a lawn care expert
If your budget allows or when things go out of hand, hiring an expert is a much better choice. Professional lawn care in Chesterfield, Virginia have the know-how to take care of your overgrown lawn and solve the problem on your behalf.