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Small Lawn Renovation

Lawn Renovation For Small Areas

Have you noticed that your lawn is dying from the stress of summer or that there are birds and skunks digging in your lawn? If you have, you probably have grubs in your lawn. The adult of the white grub is a Japanese Beetle, a May beetle or a June beetle. The larva, which is C-shaped with a white body and tan or brown head, produces damage to lawns and gardens. The larvae feed on grass roots causing yellow spots and patches on lawns. The adult beetles feed on over 275 plant species including roses, other ornamentals, all deciduous fruit trees, many small fruits, vegetables, grasses and weeds.

Even a garden center owner’s yard gets invaded with insects that need to be controlled. Earlier I sent our weekly eGreenTips email that included a picture of a lawn that had grub damage. That picture was actually my lawn. I should have used a grub control before the grubs had done most of their damage to the lawn. So let’s look at what we can do now to get my lawn, and your lawn, the greenest in the neighborhood. Over the dry months of summer I could tell that areas of my lawn were dying out. In late August I could see the holes in the soil where the grubs were working on the grass plants as well as birds and skunks digging in my lawn. When I looked closely I could see the grub holes.

There are assorted controls that you can use but I used a product known as Dylox by broadcasting it over the areas that needed to be treated with a hand-held spreader. Always follow directions for the product you are applying. I needed to irrigate the area well to move the product into the soil so the control would not volatize into the air and effectively control the grubs. You will need to apply at least 1 inch of water to your lawn. To be sure that you have watered enough, place a pan with vertical sides and measure the amount of water that is applied. The next morning you should see LOTS of white grubs that moved to the surface when this product is applied.

Now to get this grass GREEN. What we will need: dethatching machine or heavy rake, blended fescue grass seed, starter lawn fertilizer, and clean straw.

Our main goal is to get seed-to-soil contact. If you have a large area, you may want to rent a dethatching machine. The settings can be lowered to disturb the top 1/4 inch of soil for great seed- to soil contact. If you have a small area, you can use a variety of garden tools to loosen the soil.

If you had one half of your grass to die, you will need to broadcast seed at the rate of 4# per 1000 sq. ft. The best choice of grass seed is a blended fescue that includes 3 types of fescue that grow well in OUR area. My choice is TLC Blend, a special formulation of great-performing, compatible tall fescues fit together to create a beautiful, yet durable and hardy lawn. With its natural dark-green color and fine-leaved texture, deep roots, natural pest and disease resistance, and self-repairing rhizomes, T. L.C. Tall Fescue Blend should provide you with many years of beauty and durability.

Many fall fertilizers have too high a concentration of nitrogen in each of the pellets that are distributed. This high concentration of nitrogen will burn the new grass roots as they emerge. You should use a lower nitrogen starter lawn fertilizer.

Broadcast according to product directions. I will use Fertilome Starter Fertilizer. Once the grass seed and fertilizer has been applied, I suggest that you lightly rake them into the soil. Apply clean straw at the rate of 1 bale per 800 sq. ft. Most homeowners apply too many straws. It takes only a little to provide shade and retain moisture for the new grass plants. Now we need to add water on a consistent basis.

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