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Renovating Your Lawn On a Limited Budget
By Don Schlup

Sod grass is a wonderful plant that can stand a lot of abuse. There are some things one can do to salvage a yard of bare spots, thin grass, weeds, and areas that appear to be dead.

Obviously, one option is to remove all the weeds and dead grass and start over with a new lawn. But if one is on a limited budget, what other options does one have? What should be done first?

The first suggestion is that you water enough to build up the sub-soil moisture to 4 to 6 inches. This will allow aeration and the opportunity to loosen soil, put water and air into the ground.

Secondly, fertilize with ScienTurfic 20-20-10 with iron and sulphur at about 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet. This will stimulate the existing grass plants to grow as well as the weeds. Grassy weeds may require the use of Round-Up or Weed-B-Gone. Read the label on both products and apply as directed.

Continue watering. Two to three weeks later apply another application of 20-20-10. So far, you probably have spent less than $100.00. As you observe what has happened, you are in a better position to determine what areas may need to be replaced.

For those areas that don't look too promising, remove the old dead sod. Then add organics and rototill the area and prepare to lay pieces of fresh sod in those areas. Be sure the area for sod has been sub-graded 3/4" so that the sod will blend in with existing sod. Be sure to water the new sod according to the guidelines suggested.

Continue watering, mowing, and fertilizing. Observe for a few months. If you like what you see, then continue for a few more months. If some areas are not up to your expectations you can remove old sod, rototill with organics, and lay new sod.