Renovating your lawn can be one of the most fun and rewarding projects for your home. It’s a lot of hard work, but it’s easy to understand and follow. I killed my entire lawn off to record all the steps I took. Now I went crazy and did a ton of optional steps, so if something seems too hardcore for you, don’t feel you have to do it too.

Here is the overview video, it goes over the steps but not in full detail. The full detail playlist is below – 42 videos in total. It’s a ton of information but I tried to be as detailed as possible so you could learn the most!

The critical steps for a renovation would be:

  1. Get the Grass Seed – Depending on the time of year, there can be delays or seed shortages. I suggest getting the seed early – it takes years to go bad so a few months before hand won’t hurt. Seed Super Store is my preferred online retailer. It’s a bit more expensive than the box store seed, but it’s certified sod quality seed! No weed seed!
  2. Killing off weeds – whether you want to use regular weed killers, or if you want to “nuke” the lawn with glyphosate. Either way works. In this series I went the “nuke” method so I could change grass types. Don’t apply pre-emergent, it will prevent the seed from germinating!
  3. Preparing the soil – you’ll want to take a soil test and see what amendments you need. Some people skip this step, but I recommend it. If you’re going to go through all this trouble you might as well check what’s out of balance.
  4. Scalp your lawn – Whether you’re doing an overseed or a full nuke’d reno, I always scalp the lawn. It helps get more sun to the newly growing grass once it germinates.
  5. Spread the seed! If you aren’t sure what spreader setting to use, go the lowest and go back and forth over and over. I’ll do the first pass low and then start to ramp it up on the next passes. Alternate directions and try to get even coverage.
  6. Topdress with peat moss – Not technically necessary, but I found it greatly increases results. It also helps visually show you when you need to water again.
  7. Use Starter Fertilizer with Mesotrione – There are a few brands now that have this. Scott’s Starter with Weed Preventer is one of them. Mesotrione is a special pre-emergent / weed killer – it leaves the grass alone but it prevents and kills weeds. It’ll give you much better results, don’t skip this one!
  8. Water, water, water – I’ll give the lawn a good soaking and then watch the peat moss. If it turns light brown, water. Personally I’ll set my irrigation to go off 5 times a day, that way I can do frequent / light watering. If you can’t do it perfectly, don’t sweat it. Grass naturally grows with imperfect watering.
  9. Be patient! It can take a while to germinate, anywhere between 5 and 30 days. I got lucky, temperatures and conditions were perfect, but you might not.

2 Responses to “How to Renovate Your Lawn – Start to Finish”

    • Tim Linden

      Technically you can nuke it, and then scalp and seed the next day. However I prefer to start 2-3 weeks before you expect to put seed down (generally seed in the fall.. aug/sept). That way any weeds/grass that come up during those 2-3 weeks you can hit them again.

Leave a Reply