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Renovating Your Lawn

Renovating Your Lawn

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Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

Larry Sagers Horticultural Specialist Utah State University Extension Service Thanksgiving Point Office © All Rights Reserved


Sometimes lawns become infested with undesirable perennial grasses and other weeds. There is no easy way to remove bentgrass, tall fescue, western wheatgrass, ryegrass, quackgrass, or many others without killing lawn grasses.

If there are only a few undesirable clumps in the lawn, spot spray them with glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup or Killzall. Follow label rates and directions. After 5-10 days, the grasses turn yellow and then brown.

Hand rake to remove excess thatch to expose soil. Reseed with a good blend of bluegrass varieties. Treat those areas just like a new lawn and water them daily or twice daily, depending on the weather.

When the weedy grasses take over more of your lawn than you can tolerate, consider these steps for a total renovation:

1. Spray with glyphosate according to label directions. The grass must be green and actively growing.

2. Wait until the grass turns yellow or brown. This process is faster in warm weather and may take two weeks or more during cool periods.

3. Power rake the area and sweep up the debris. Repeat this operation going at right angles to the first raking to expose some soil during this procedure. This forms the mulch for seeding.

4. Plant a good blend of Kentucky bluegrass or other desirable grass. The lawn will be in a place a long time, so do not skimp on quality. Plant the seed at one-half the rate of a new lawn or about 1.5 pounds per 1000 square feet.

5. Rake to place the seed in good contact with the soil and to give it mulch cover.

6. Water and care for the newly seeded lawn just as if you were planting for the first time. During hot weather, this may require twice daily or even more frequent watering.

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