One of our readers was wondering how to start fresh with his lawn and landscape, so he turned to Harold Enger, our in-house expert. Read the question and answer below to get tips on reseeding or resodding for your new lawn.
“Hello Harold! I saw your video on YouTube! I bought a home recently and the lawn has Bermuda grass in patches and weeds everywhere else. I liked your idea on starting over, and I was wondering what the best process is to do so? What kind of Roundup should I use? What process is best to kill everything off and how long until I can start the reseeding process? Thank you for your help!”
Thank you for sending in your question. Renovating a lawn can be a daunting task for the average homeowner, but I can provide you with the process to follow if you wish to attempt to do so on your own. First of all, you should wait until next year before starting the reseeding or resodding process. Even though you live in Nevada, your turfgrasses are moving into a dormant state. They may remain somewhat green, but they are not effectively transpiring. Trying to use a product like Roundup will not produce the best results. You should wait until the grass begins to grow next March or April. At that time, apply Roundup to the area where you wish to renovate. I suggest at least two applications of Roundup, spaced two weeks apart. Be sure to read and follow all label directions.
One of my concerns would be your ability to water the area that you will seed, sod or sprig. Keep in mind any watering restrictions you may have and limit the area to one that can easily be maintained. I have seen people that have killed off their entire lawn, but did not have the ability to consistently water and the results were miserable.
Once the undesired grasses have died, you need to make the decision on how to replace the turf. Bermuda seed is difficult to germinate and it can take two or more years to get a good stand established. Bermuda is an aggressive grass and will fill in areas quickly, but it still can take time. Once the grass has died, you should scalp the lawn to cut back as much of the top growth as possible. If you plan to seed, the best way to get the seed into the soil is to use a slit seeder. This machine will cut a thin trench into the lawn, and then the seed is deposited into the slits. You should seed in perpendicular directions for good coverage. You could use a power rake and then broadcast the seed across the lawn, but that reseeding method will not ensure the best seed to soil contact.
The fastest way to get a new lawn is to use sod. Once the grass has died off, rent a sod cutter to remove the old top growth. The difficulty with resodding is that you need some place to put the dead sod. You can rototill the area and rake out the dead grass that remains on the top, but you will still have the same clean up concern. Once the soil is prepared, you can lay out the sod. Most sod comes in 1-square-yard pieces. So, measure the area and convert the square feet into square yards by dividing it by 9 to determine the amount of sod you will need.
The one great thing about today’s world is that most of these tasks are available as YouTube videos, so I recommend you search for them. You can also click here for a more comprehensive discussion of reseeding. It may be more expensive, but hiring a qualified landscaper to do the work for you will eliminate the hard work it takes to renovate a lawn. Best of luck and feel free to contact me if you have any other questions.
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