Lawn Rennovation

Asked March 24, 2015, 7:15 PM EDT

Hi Beaver Turf, I live in NW Corvallis and have a large, shady, and very wet backyard. The soil is thick clay and gets very saturated in the winter, spring, and fall. The lawn was obviously planted long ago and is a patchy mix of moss, crab grass, weeds, and some unknown variety of turf grass. I would like to start from scratch. My plan is to level and cover the whole area with loam and then broadcast new seed and fertilizer. After this I would probably use a roller. Is this the best approach? If so, what seed variety do you recommend for our area? When is the best time of year for this project? Also, I have heard that covering the reseeded area with straw is a good idea. Is this necessary in your opinion? Thanks very much!

Benton County Oregon

1 Response

Adding a loam soil will improve drainage slightly. The more important factor is the water table is there anywhere for the water to go once it collects, i.e. drainage - Dry well? French Drain? Catch basin? Etc.

This would be a much better investment than adding loam soil. Turf will do fine in heavy clay soil, it is a very tough plant.

If you are still looking to renovate…

  1. I would suggest investing in drainage, French drain or catch basin.

  2. Spraying your lawn with Round-up (twice applications 3 weeks apart).

  3. Scalp the remaining vegetation, rake and then detach or aerify the soil (see the photo below).

  4. Seed into the soil after it has been cultivated (detached or aerified) – fine fescue/perennial ryegrass mixture.

  5. Apply a lawn fertilizer the same day at the labeled rate.