Rough lawns are usually a sign of underlying problems, such as insect infestation, too much shade, disease or abusive cultivation. Once a lawn has developed a rough, uneven texture, it can be hard to mow, and it can suffer from weed growth. To set rough lawns, gardeners must restore the grass. It is important for gardeners to establish a grass that works well for their climate, type and sunlight soil. For example, shaded areas can not support certain types of grass as bermuda. Gardeners must establish their lawns with either their old grass or a type of grass that will thrive.
- Ventilate the lawn with a basic aerator to improve soil compaction. Compacted soil reduces drainage and air flow. Basic aerators dig up dirt plugs that are 1/2 to 3/4 inch in diameter and 1 to 6 inches deep. Also, push the central aerator across the lawn and rake until dirt plugs.
- Dethatch the lawn with a power dethatcher. Dethatching helps break the bumps in the yard and reduces that layer of thatch. Thatch is the layer of living and dead matter that naturally accumulates between the soil and the grass blades. Push the power dethatcher off the lawn. Pick up the stubble debris.
- Mow the lawn to its recommended height. For example, bahia grass should be kept between 3 to 4 inches for healthy growth. By mowing the grass before overseeding, you reduce the amount of competition between grass and grass seeds.
- Distribute a starter fertilizer with a fall spreader on the lawn. A high phosphorus starter fertilizer promotes root growth of healthy grass seedlings. In fact, use a starter fertilizer that has an NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) as the amount 16-20-0 at a rate of 6 lbs. per 1,000 square feet. Water from the area after fertilizer distribution.
- Pour half of the amount of grass seed you need to use a fall spreader. For example, Kentucky bluegrass seeds must be distributed at a rate of 2 to 3 lbs. per 1,000 square feet. Push the vertical drop spreader onto the lawn. Add the rest of the grass seed to the fall spreader and distribute vertically. Water the grass to moisten the soil.
Tips and Warnings
- Keep the soil surface moist until the seedlings to encourage grass germination of the seeds.
- Avoid using a grass roller after distributing grass seed because it does not work well with existing grass.