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Lawn renovation

Does your lawn have a few bare spots or do you have more bare spots than lawn? In Northern Minnesota, August 1 to September 1 is the ideal time to seed cool season turfgrasses. There are several options to choose from when it comes to lawn renovation. The best option is determined by your goals and the condition of your lawn. My colleague, Sam Bauer, UMN Extension Educator, discuses four renovation strategies.

Lawn improvement- conducted when less than 20% weeds or bare soil are present. The goal is to utilize existing grass species and determine the factors leading to poor lawn quality and correct them. Often, recommended practices for improvement will include aeration, fertility, seeding, and weed control.

Partial renovation- conducted when 20-40% weeds or bare soil are present. This process requires stressing the existing vegetation to reduce the competitive advantage of existing species, while overseeding with new (possibly different) turf species. Depending on the weeds present, herbicides may or may not be recommended.

Species conversion- conducted when greater than 40% weeds or bare soil are present, but there are no major soil issues. This process requires killing the existing vegetation by the use of non-selective herbicides or solarization (plastic sheet) and overseeding with new turf species. The species conversion process allows you to change the function of the lawn by establishing new species in a short period of time.

Complete renovation- conducted when greater than 40% weeds or bare soil are present, and soil remediation is required. This process is essentially the same as the species conversion except soils will be tilled, graded, and possibly amended with organic matter or nutrients.



Randy Nelson
Extension Educator, Home Hort & Ag Production Systems
(218) 299-5020

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