Many things damage, dent, and render dormant a flat, lush lawn during its growing season. The secret to fall lawn repair? Top dressing and re-seeding. Here's how it works. Getty ImagesSummer does a number on your lawn. Anything from removing a shrub to parking a car to letting Sparky go for a run to leaving the Slip N' Slide out too long can turn a blanket of lush green grass into a collection of crushed and dried-up blades. Luckily, a technique known as top dressing -- coupled with a re-seeding of the lawn -- can help undo the damage.
While the top-dressing technique can be used any time of year, for most regions, fall is the best season. In most places, fall brings cooler temperatures, and many grasses grow better in cool weather. Plus, if you can get the grass to sprout in the fall you can put your lawn on a complete fertilizing schedule come spring without worrying about new seed. We realize that the actual season is different in, say, Vermont than Virginia, so let's just say that some time around when the kids go back to school is a good target for getting this project underway.
Top dressing is a good solution for small and large lawn repairs. It's relatively inexpensive and easy to DIY. But first, let's review the basic categories of lawn damage:
Lawn Damage: Suffocation
If the lawn can't breath, the grass dies. Culprits include trash bags, sheet plastic and kids' toys. Say you're remodeling or or doing some kind of attic or yard cleanup. If you stage a row of plastic trash bags on the grass for a bunch of weeks while you amass enough for the dump run, the lawn below it can die. Furthermore, if the contents of those bags are heavy (see 'impact' below) -- think asphalt shingles, landscape debris, and plaster -- they can dent and compress the turf. You'll get the same effect if you leave the plastic kiddie pool, Slip 'N Slide, or sand box in the same place all summer. Even if you lay out sheet plastic for an outdoor painting project, you expect suffocated grass. Sometimes it'll come back, but you have to catch it in time.
Lawn Damage: Impact
Impact injuries, large and small, occur most easily when the turf is saturated, like it is after a few days of rain. Parked cars, heavy equipment (like a truck or tractor), foot traffic, bicycles -- all of these can dent, divot and damage grass.
Lawn Damage: Excavation
Removing things from the grass can cause big damage to the lawn, and it often takes a little time for this damage to show up. Say you remove a shrub or a tree from the lawn. Once the hole is re-filled and re-seeded, and the earth settles over time, you're left with a deep hole or small divot that's sometimes called an 'ankle twister.' If you run outdoor wiring, it's typical that a trench should be excavated about 24 inches deep (and the wire run in conduit). Once that trench is re-filled, expect the soil to settle several inches. The same can often happen around improperly back-filled deck, pergola, and fence posts or other areas where the yard has been dug up like a retaining wall.
Top Dressing and Re-Seeding, Step by Step
Ultra frugal rainwater storage ideas2009-08-13 20:37:55 by AZ_Dude
We got 2 inches of rain in the past 3 days, my storage system was full after the first inch.
I added another 560 gallons today for $0.00 I just dug out an old kiddie pool and filled it from my tanks. An 8 foot diameter x 18 inch pool holds a bit over 560 gallons.
This time of year it should be fairly easy to find someone that wants to get rid of theirs or you can probably get one at Walmart etc. for $5 to $10.
There are some problems with open storage like this, mosquitoes being the biggest. I plan on dumping a goldfish in there as soon as I see some wigglers
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