How to perform a lawn renovation job.

It’s quite the nature of the beast when you run a lawn care business, especially early on, to try and take on as many jobs as you can. There may be times you find yourself taking on lawn care jobs you really have no idea how to perform. With a little research on your part however, you can get up to speed quickly as this lawn care business owner found out when he asked the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum about the best way to perform a lawn renovation.

He wrote “I might be getting a lawn renovation job and I was wondering how should I go about performing the job since this is all new to me. Should I be performing a complete lawn renovation with new grass seed, de-thatch, mow short, and overseed, or use a sod cutter, remove all the old grass, and then lay new sod? What fertilizer and seed should I use and should I test the soil quality? Right now it’s June in the northeast, so the day temperatures reach 75-80. Is that a factor for the job too?”

A second lawn care business owner said “the way you handle the lawn renovation job all depends first on your lawn care customer and what they want to spend and what they expect. If they want an overnight lawn and are willing to pay for it, sod is the answer. If they are willing to wait, I would have to see the lawn as I can bring most back but a few have to be tilled under.

If we are replacing a lawn and the client has the bucks, the best thing is to remove the old sod. This is desperate expensive method and most won’t go that route so instead we till, add organic top soil, and then seed.

Personally in cases like this, I would use an organic de-thacher spray first. Scalp the lawn or at least cut to two inches. Then we have high a speed reverse tillers that tills 48″ at a time and levels the ground as you go. Next roll it with a weighted lawn roller to flatten the area. Add top soil but if seeding garden soil is better and gives faster germination, seed, light rake, roll, and spray the fertilizer. Once the grass is ready to mow for the first time mow it and they spray Corn Gluten but do not spray Corn Gluten until after germination of the grass seed, otherwise it will almost stop it.”

A third lawn care business owner shared “I am a former golf course superintendent that has renovated many lawns from 3k to 7K sq. ft. with extreme success. My method is now being used by my former industry peers with positive results.

You need to wait until late Aug.-early Sept. for optimal results. Your area is entering its summer stress period that diminishes new seedling development. Don’t try to germinate a cool season grass in a warm season environment. Fall is optimal.

Here is the method I have used. It is easy, inexpensive, and most importantly, it works! Do make sure you have good sustainable soils first, and amend as needed.

Here we go…….

1. Completely kill yard with roundup. (3-4 week lead time)
2. Shave dead organic material off and remove. The glory here is that you will still have a layer of dead organic that will act as your mulch for watering. No straw needed!!!!!!!!
3. Slit seed in 3 directions at appropriate rates and fertilize.
4. Water properly.

All of my installations were mowed three-four weeks later. Always mow new grass when it reaches it’s desired cutting height. In the end you should have fantastic results.”

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