Restoration of my lawn
Lawn has been neglected the past 6 years. Has many bare spots especially under the two large cherry trees. The tree had been severely pruned a month ago. What's the better approach aiming at restoring the lushness of my lawn: (1) To reseed now followed by fertilizing around Labor Day. But would the germinated gross survive? (2) Wait to reseed in the fall and just do fertilizer around Labor Day. I like to do it right even if it takes a year or two to reach my goal. I am interested to get my lawn soil tested. Could you send me a sample bag and instructions on how to collect soil sample and where to send the soil sample to be tested. Any suggestion on my lawn restoration would be highly appreciated.
Montgomery County Maryland
Your best bet is to wait until the late summer-early fall to seed. If you seeded now you run the risk of the new grass browning out during the heat and typical dry spells we experience in the summer. You are correct, it could take a full season or even two years for the grass to become established. Our recommendation would be is not to seed right up to the trunk of the trees. You should lay a 2-3 inch layer of mulch around the circumference of the tree coming out to the dripline of the trees. This is an area where grass does not usually grow well and protects the trunk from lawn mower and weed trimmer damage. You can do this now if you like.
Soil testing is a good idea. You can send the sample to the lab in a sealed plastic bag. Please see the information on our website about soil testing. Watch the video which explains the process and then select a lab from the provided list (HG 110a). http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/soils/soil-testing
Also, see our publication on lawn renovation, http://extension.umd.edu/sites/extension.umd.edu/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/HG102-Rev-...