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This step will keep other species from competing with your new grass.
The most effective way to eliminate existing weeds and turf is with non-selective herbicides that contain the active ingredient glyphosate. Other non-selective herbicides include glufosinate or the herbicidal soap formulation Scythe.
Fill in any holes
Take care of holes or low spots before you replant. Now is also the time to take care of other drainage problems.
Amend your Topsoil
• Biosolid organic fertlizers are inexpensive and add organic matter to the soil
• pH adjusting products like lime to raise pH if needed
• Gypsum or Solu-cal S to help condition clay soils
• Any quality animal manure based organic fertilizer
Amend sandy soils by incorporating a small amount of clay or organic material to enhance water- and nutrient-holding capacity. Add high-phosphorus starter fertilizer and/or pH modifiers such as lime or Solu-cal based on information from your soil test.
Pick the right grass.
The species and variety you choose will depend on:
• What quality of sod you expect.
• Planned maintenance.
• How you plan to use it.
• Sun and shade available.
• Drought tolerance (include slope of property)
• Resistance to insects and diseases.
Stay away from cheap blends of seed. The bargain from the garden store is no bargain.
Stay away from mixes with Annual grasses , Noxious weed content , unnamed varieties of seed , and low germination percentages. Usually any mix with the words quick, fast, contractors, and tough are products you might want to stay away from as they are usually low end.
Prepare the soil.
If you use an aerator, go in 2-3 different directions when pulling plugs.
If you use a slice seeder, go half rate in 2 directions then use a spreader to go over the barest areas again to help get a uniform look.
The larger the seed, the higher the seeding rate, so be sure you seed at the right rate. Studies show that there is no benefit from seeding more than the recommended rate. Excessive seeding rates create too much competition between the seedlings. Seeding at the correct rate or slightly lower encourages tillering – lateral spreading of the grass plants.
Rake in the seed
In the bare spots, mix the seed and soil so that the seed is covered no more than 1/16 of an inch or so. Consider using the back edge of a plastic leaf rake without pressure to incorporate it.
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