Have a "salad" for a lawn this summer? Here are some steps to bring it back.

Cool season friends, this one is for you. Warm season, please read just for enjoyment, I’ll have a tip for you coming up soon as well.

In the meantime, here is an email question I got from an LCN on Long Island, NY. The pictures along the way are ones posted by LCNs in our FaceBook Group. I figured they’d be fun ways to show off some of our people’s work while you read these tips:

Good Morning Allyn,

I purchased a house last September (Long Island, NY) and the lawn I inherited was more of a neglected salad than a lawn. The previous owner had a company that it seems that all they did was mow once a week and that was that.

Now I'm taking care of the lawn, mowing 2x a week (4" tall) and giving it some Milo! Now it looks better but still a salad.i think I have fine fescue, tall fescue, perennial rye, kbg and annual poa... who knows...

I'm thinking of starting fresh. Kill it all and start over.

So my question is, when should I kill the grass? Or should I wait and see what happens now that some TLC is been applied?



Hey Bro - this is exactly why I wrote the Cool Season Hybrid Organic Lawn Plan.

It's for a guy like you to start in the fall time - like early Sept.

I promise if you get that book, it will help you, but let me give you some context first:

I do not recommend you start over... don't do the total kill. Instead, I recommend you turn your old school lawn into something nice.

Having a mix of fescues, rye and KBG is fine - especially if they have all been surviving under neglect together for so long, whatever good grass that has remained is surely the strongest and best of what is there. You see what I'm saying? Those grasses have adapted to those conditions and we should utilize that as a strength.

So do this, get the book (I'll give you your money back if it is not as good as I'm saying)

Now that book is going to tell you to start in September or later August if the ground is soft enough to aerate. (yes, you will need to rent an aerator and it's going to kick your ass and you will like it).

September... that's when you'll start for real. But you are a dude that doesn't want to wait because this is June and there is a lot of summer ahead that we could be making progress right?

So here is your plan starting now - I'm writing this for you but I'll probably share it in my newsletter too because your situation is not unique. Lots of guys find themselves in this strange time of year trying to start up a lawn plan.

So here's your best bet.
1) Get your irrigation set up in line. This will be important in keeping the lawn from hitting summer dormancy. Water deep and infrequently all summer, monitor the weather carefully and take note of rain help you get. This is important because rain works much better than our irrigation so, in a good rain year, we have a much healthier lawn overall (natural N comes in lightning storms). Rain also means clouds that help cool season grasses get some relief from hot summer direct sunlight.

2) Spoon feed your lawn with Milorganite or Ringer Lawn Restore every 4 weeks. Just get in 1/2 LB N/1000 with each feeding. Make sure to keep up with that good, frequent tall cutting.

3) Go ahead and start some weed sprays if you want. Just spray and kill what you see - squirt until the weeds are wet. Get something cheap from HD or Lowes. I like this Bayer product that you can find pretty much anywhere. Get that into your pump sprayer and go spraying the weeds. Just don't spray in the heat of the day, mornings or evenings are better. Consider that this weed control will kill probably 60% of the problem weeds you have.

That's it man, that's all you have to do. Keep that little cadence going all the way until you hit late August and then pull the trigger on the fall steps in the book.

You'll find that I'm not recommending a total kill there. Instead, I'm recommending you go for the rehab of your existing lawn. Again, you've got some strong players already on the field - let's bring them some fresh cultivars to help prop them up.

Seed in some nice KBG blend and maybe some perennial rye and do that with heavy aeration and a Throw'er Down mentality on the seed. Sling seed like you are making it rain up in there...
... well, ok, so that may be overselling it, but you get the idea.

If you are up for the challenge, I have full confidence in your ability to have a nice looking lawn that will be dominating by Halloween this year.

Good luck my friend,

So there you go guys, I figured the question Geño had here would apply to quite a few of you. Idea being - it’s not too late to start - get out there this weekend and make some progress, and I’ll see you in the lawn!


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