Posts Tagged ‘lawn restoration’

Lawn renovation from start to finish

A recent lawn evaluation in Vermont actually became a lawn renovation.  The lawn had not been cared for in some time and was overgrown with various weeds.  The client wanted to reclaim the lawn and improve the view off the end of the lawn by removing some low growing brush and saplings.  The first order of business was to start with a clean slate by spraying the existing lawn area to destroy the vegetation.  We then had the soil tilled to provide a seed bed after determining the consistency was appropriate.  In fact, we did not have to add any additional loam after tilling but simply raked out and removed the dead vegetation prior to seeding.  The attached pictures in this blog post start with the sprayed vegetation, followed by the removed brush and the completely tilled and seeded lawn.  The final picture shows the established lawn about seven weeks later. Quite a transformation and the client was thrilled.

We sprayed the existing lawn which consisted of weeds and assorted plants.

We sprayed the existing lawn which consisted of weeds and assorted plants.

Lawn is now tilled and seeded.

Lawn is now tilled and seeded plus the view has been enhanced by removal of brush at the bank level.

The final product, enjoy.

The final product

Although most lawns can be improved “as is” without this kind of renovation technique, Chippers has the ability to diagnose and renovate lawns from small to large.  Due to widespread insect, weather (hurricane Irene), and disease damage over the past few years, we have been involved in many more lawn restoration projects than in the past.  If you think your lawn is in need of assistance, have us take a look and we can determine if your lawn needs a complete face lift or simply a little love in the form of lawn treatments.  Fall and spring are ideal times for these projects. If you don’t have the time this fall plan ahead and get your lawn projects lined up for next spring.


How to restore your Vermont lawn after Irene’s flooding

For those with a home lawn in a flood plain or next to a waterway, removal of as much sediment and silt becomes job one.  Many will opt for a professional with equipment capable of moving large volumes of river sediment.  This is especially important to the homeowner as there is a high likelihood that the silt and sediment, being of the finest particle size, will trap and contain petroleum products, organic waste, or other undesirable materials.  Leaving the removal of such sediment to a professional can provide a measure of comfort to the home owner versus attempting such a daunting task themselves given the inherent risks.  After this “river frosting” is removed, the next phase is lawn restoration either this fall or next spring.

Freshly Reseeded Lawn and Hay Spreading

 Damaged lawns will fall into two main categories ranging from a complete reinstallation with truck loads of loam down to basic turf treatments like core aeration, calcium lime, and fertilizer.  The more extensive the flooding and sediment layer, the more likely loam will need to be brought in, spread out with a tractor, seeded, and then rolled.  Any seeding this fall will pay dividends with quicker grass thickening versus having to wait for the soil to warm up and dry out next spring.

In many cases, a complete lawn renovation may well be the best choice compared to trying to patch up or fix thinned out or dead sections of lawn.  Attempting to match any existing grasses can leave a calico appearance to a lawn while starting over allows more desirable blends to be utilized yielding a more consistent turf cover. Before proceeding with a complete restoration it may also be the opportune time to decide how much lawn you really want in your planted landscape – do you love it and like the maintenance chores or do you really dream of creating other outdoor living spaces with patios, walkways, and gardens with native flowers, shrubs and trees? Only you can answer this question that Irene has raised….

The second type of lawn repair would be a partial renovation where perhaps the back or front was buried in silt yet or another area simply became either submerged in water or soaked by heavy rain.  Given the massive amount of rainfall during hurricane Irene, many soils, particularly sandy ones, will have lost significant nutrient value and will require supplemental treatment of Nitrogen and Potassium.  In this scenario, a normal lawn would do well to receive a balanced, low to zero phosphate, slow release fertilizer treatment to aid in improving turf health this autumn.

Any energy stored in October and November will be used to repair and establish a healthy root system prior to winter resulting in a better spring green up (see ‘winterizer’ blog post at  A high calcium lime treatment will aid in softening the soil itself while adjusting soil pH into a desirable range for the new and existing turf.  Core aeration is an excellent tool to reduce compacted soil, perhaps even those with some remaining sediment as a coating on the surface of the lawn.  These situations can be further improved by overseeding once the lawn is aerated with a superior blend of turf grass.

Most lawns can be seeded into late October and still have some germination prior to winter in a normal growing season.  Although you will not see a whole lot going on, taking the shot now is still normally worth the gamble of an early snow.  I have seen great lawns emerge in the spring from a late seeding and in the case of this catastrophe, I think the ‘doing’ outweighs the ‘waiting’ in most cases.

Although lawns may rate low on the scale of post-Irene reconstruction compared to bridges, roads, or house repairs, ultimately the job will arise and when it does, doing it right makes more sense than to not.

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