Refresh Your Old Lawn

Are you struggling with a poor lawn? Well, you might just as well do something drastic with it, such as spade it up and totally rebuild it. If you do, however, be careful not to build in the same mistakes. If there are puddles or pools on your lawn for a long time after rain, you may need to lay drain tile or get a good layer of gravel under the topsoil.

A huge number of poor lawns are most likely due to poor soil conditions. In a lot of cases this can all be fixed a better feeding program.

In case your problem is thin and anemic grass due to what's called hard-baked soil, spading up then followed by soil preparation and finally re-seeding is the way to go for you.

If your old lawn's problem is that it's bumpy, the solution is simple -- just level it down and then rake top-dressing into the hollows, or consider peeling back the sod, and filling in the hollows with some good soil before replacing.

Now if you have what's referred to as a mossy lawn -- that's usually due to poor soil drainage and not to some acidity in the soil, as it is widely believed among people. So a mossy lawn may need some change in grading in order to get improved drainage, or raking followed by rich fertilization.

Another problem you may have are weeds. No matter if it's in an old lawn, or in a new lawn -- weeds can be best combated with some chemical weed-killers such as the 2.4-D compounds. Tip: using a granulated chemical combined with a spreader is sometimes more preferable than a liquid spray.

If you however consider going with spray make sure you use it on a day when there is little or no wind because drifting spray can potentially kill and harm vegetables, flowers and shrubs. After spraying against weeds feed your lawn, so that grass could thicken up and fill in the bare spots faster.

That said, always keep in mind that the best way for you to prevent weeds is to simply have a healthy lawn, with good soil that provides enough sufficient nutrient for all the grass you plant.

You may not know it but weeds come in when the lawn has been badly thinned for any reason whatsoever. It might be a disease that thinned your lawn, which is often overlooked in our haste to always lay the blame on weeds.

It's also a good idea to prevent diseases that commonly attack turf. A healthy lawn is just like a healthy person -- it will be able to take care of itself and ward off any kind of disorders that might occur, weed or disease.

Again a mixture of seeds is more likely to resist to diseases as opposed to just one kind. An excess amount of moisture in the soil is in fact the cause of many diseases. Another major cause is the poor circulation of air in the soil, due to near-by trees, shrubs, and buildings.

And last but not least, let me bust a myth for you -- watering late in the evening is a definitely not a good idea because when the grass remains wet at night it's like sending a personal invitation to all kinds of disease.

Oh and also (ok that's the last one) if you use any fertilizers to stimulate turf grasses, make sure you do so in the early spring and fall while the grass is healthy, and not during the summer when the leaf is most vulnerable and easily attacked by all sorts of disease.

John Layton is the author of Refresh Your Old Lawn and can provide additional tips and advise at his website he also publishes a daily blog at

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