Turfgrass renovation depends upon good cultural practices and planting techniques. With the implementation of a few guidelines, renovation will be a success.
The most important thing you can do to ensure success in a renovation project is proper site preparation. The main goal in site preparation is to ensure that, when planted, the seed comes into contact with the soil. Begin by treating the existing turfgrass with a non-selective and non-residual herbicide such as Round-up*. Turf must be actively growing for the herbicide to be effective. Wait for 7 days after spraying before continuing with renovation.
Mark each sprinkler head with a flag or stake so you don’t run over them with the power rake.
Power rake over the area in two different directions, making certain that the blades are deep enough to contact the soil surface. Remove the loosened stubble and any other debris that have been disturbed during power raking.
Set the mower to a low height, no higher than 1 ½ to 1 ¾ inches. Mow the lawn area removing the clippings. It is not necessary to remove all of the dead turfgrass. Remember, it is important that you are able to see soil between the remaining plants. The remaining stubble will act as a mulch and help retain moisture.
After the site is prepared, planting may begin. Application of the seed should be accomplished using a drop spreader. The application should be done in two directions. First, apply half the seed walking north and south, the remaining seed walking east and west. After application is completed, lightly rake the area using a leaf rake to knock down any seed caught on the stubble.
Renovation can be done when soil temperatures reach 50 degrees or higher. In the Intermountain West, this typically occurs about April 15th. Planting can continue, in a characteristic year, until September 15th.
Seeding rates vary depending upon the type of turfgrass that is planted. In the Intermountain West, the seed blends and planting rates are as follows:
|Velvet Blue-||100% Kentucky Bluegrass||2-3 pounds per 1000 square feet.|
|Blue Ribbon-||80% Kentucky Bluegrass|
20% Perennial Ryegrass
|4-5 pounds per 1000 square feet.|
|Triple Play-||100% Turf Type Tall Fescue||12 pounds per 1000 square feet.|
The turfgrass will need to be kept moist to ensure germination. Light frequent watering is the way to accomplish this. Set the irrigation timer to water 4-5 times per day for a short duration, 5 to 10 minutes each time should be sufficient depending on temperature and the wind. Until the lawn is established, this watering should be done primarily between 10 am and 5 pm. Mowing can begin when the grass is 2-3 inches in height. Fertilize after about 6 weeks with a balanced fertilizer such as 16-6-8. Do not use a broadleaf herbicide until after the second cutting.
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