Updated: Sep 15, 2020
Planning on putting in a new lawn? Or do you need to repair your existing lawn? If so, now is the time to act. Consistently warm weather and no further chance of a freeze means it’s time to lay new sod, re-seed existing lawns, and fill in bare patches with grass plugs. Which method you use depends on the size of the job and the type of grass you plan to install.
Before you attempt any of the options below, however, it’s a good idea to improve the area to be planted by composting. For new lawns, you should work your compost and any other soil amendments into the soil at least 6 inches prior to planting. For existing lawns, enrich the soil by putting down a layer of compost on top of the area to be planted.
The easiest way to build a new lawn is by laying sod. For St. Augustine owners, this is really the only way. Bermuda, Buffalo, Zoysia and many other grasses can be started from seed, however, this is not an option with St. Augustine because it is extremely difficult to propagate from seed. Marshall Grain carries St. Augustine and Bermuda sod in pre-cut squares that can be arranged easily to fit any configuration. Each “square” is approximately 12 inches x 15 inches. (OK, so they’re not exactly square.)
Reseeding Existing Lawns
Lawns can wear out, like old clothes, from excessive traffic, damage from construction, or attacks from pests or disease. As noted above, Bermuda, Buffalo, Zoysia and many other grasses can be started from seed. St. Augustine cannot. Before sowing your seeds, it’s a good idea to rake the area “scarify” the soil and remove any weeds and remaining grass. After sowing, make sure you keep the seeds moist with daily watering for at least 3 weeks or so until the seeds have germinated and taken root.
For St. Augustine owners, plugs are great alternative to reseeding. If, for example, your St. Augustine has brown patch, make sure you have treated the area for that fungus with a product such as Mayer Comand or Comand Plus. Once you’re soil is healthy again, you can repair the damaged areas by planting St. Augustine plugs.