Everyone wants that lush green and full lawn. For northern cool season grasses, the closest thing to a get rich quick lawn solution is to fall dethatch and overseed. It will create the biggest impact difference to your lawn and is fairly easy.
To do the dethatching for most yards under 20,000 sq ft you can easily knock this out with a simple DIY electric dethatcher like the one SunJoe sells for typically between $130-180. We like it for its price (as cheap as renting a beast of one from Home Depot for a few hours), and for its effectiveness. Check out the thatch coming up in the quick video below. Removing all of that buildup will allow water and nutrients to better reach the soil to be more effective. This will also prep your soil for better seed to soil contact when overseeding.
Type of Grass :
When picking your grass type for the fall overseed you need to decide what is best for your lawn. We like the idea of introducing more Kentucky bluegrass (AKA – KBG) blends into the lawn for their ability to expand growth and fill in gaps in the lawn. You can READ MORE ABOUT GRASS TYPES HERE. One brand we enjoy using is from OutsidePride.com and comes at a fair price.
Lawn Renovation Steps & Video From This Old House: 1. Mow the lawn to a height of 1½ inch. Be sure to collect the grass clippings. 2. Run a de-thatcher across the entire lawn to remove dead plant matter. (WE LIKE THE SUNJOE!) 3. Use a leaf rake to collect and remove all the thatch pulled from the lawn. Some people use a leaf blower or run their lawn mower over after raking to pick up the extra piece in their bagger. 4. Run a gas-powered core aerator across the lawn. (WE ACTUALLY SKIP THIS STEP, UNLESS YOU HAVE REALLY COMPACT SOIL) 5. Rake up and remove the soil plugs extracted by the aerator. (IF YOU DID THIS) 6. Spread compost over the lawn and rake it down into the holes. Even if you did not core aerate compost or peat moss is a really nice introduction of organic matter to the soil. 7. Analyze the physical structure of the soil with a soil test kit; amend the soil as necessary. (LAWN SERV’S JOB!) 8. Use a broadcast spreader to over-seed the lawn with new grass seed. Adjust the spreader to dispense seven pounds of seed per 1,000 square feet area. 9. Use backside of leaf rake to lightly work the grass seed into the lawn. 10. Lightly water twice a day to keep the lawn damp, not soaking wet.
Typically homes are bought and sold with information such as the square footage of your house and a total lot size. However that doesn’t give us great lawn care information. We as homeowners and yard maintainers really need to know the grassy area eliminating the house, driveway, shed, and other non-grassy areas.
The great part about technology is we can now do that measurement from ANYWHERE! Lawn Serv built a tool leveraging aerial photography built off of the Google Maps database that you can use for free here — http://www.myyardsize.com/ . Below is a video on how it works.
It is very simple:
Put in your address
Plot points around the item you want to measure (cutting out your house, driveway, shed, etc).
Read the number in the top left
Measuring Tape – section off areas, do a length by width calculation, add them all together
Think about taking this time to sharpen the blades for the new year
If you get sustained below freezing temperatures in your part of the country you need to think seriously about simple maintenance if you plan to extend the life of your machines. Grass clippings in bags can ruin them, so turn them inside out, rinse and let dry in the sun. You should clean your mower deck after each use, but especially before winter. Grass holds moisture and can rust parts of the mower quicker.
Gas only has a couple months shelf life. You should run that out if you don’t plan on mowing in the next 60 days and put new gas in.
Sharpe blades are going cut more efficiently and cleaner. This will improve the health of your lawn. Now that you have a few winter months off go take the blades to a local shop and get those sharpened. It’s short money for the saved headaches they can cause by creating lawn problems.
If granular fertilizer, you should water in the fertilizer so it can get to the roots, or apply right before a rain.
If you can, mulch the clippings and leave them on the lawn, those are packed with nutrients for the soil! (just not clumpy)
Fertilizing after you mow is important because you want the product typically to be able to reach the soil line. If you fertilize on top of the tall grass the product can be wasted and in some cases even burn the grass leaves.
Some other things to note would be that you should never cut more than 1/3 of the blade of grass off when mowing, and be sure to always water your lawn if it’s been a while without rain!