Renovating an old lawn


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I am trying to help a friend with renovating an old lawn. The soil in his garden has become very hard. In some areas the grass is sparse, and there are surface puddles of water when it rains.
We are thinking of starting with improving the drainage first, by adding some humus and peatmoss to the worst patches. Any suggestions how to proceed? What shall we feed it?
 
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Well that sounds like my lawn, it is similar, but not as bad. My lawn is still pretty healthy, but I also have patches and the soil is hard. I aerated it not too long ago and it's getting better. The patches are still there, but the soil is looking like it's normal again. Try aerating it and let us know how it goes.
 
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I am trying to help a friend with renovating an old lawn. The soil in his garden has become very hard. In some areas the grass is sparse, and there are surface puddles of water when it rains.
We are thinking of starting with improving the drainage first, by adding some humus and peatmoss to the worst patches. Any suggestions how to proceed? What shall we feed it?
This is what we do in Texas in a lawn like that. First, I would water it enough to dampen the soil about 3 inches deep. Then the next day or whenever it dries out enough to work aeroate it with one of those push/pull aeroaters that they rent at rental stores that pull up little plugs of soil. Next I would get some agricultral molasses from a feed store that sells cattle feed or regular molasses from the grocery store Next I would purchase a good hose end sprayer and set it to 2 oz per gallon and spray what you have just aeroated until the soil is wet again. The next day spread a good compost over the entire thing about 1/4-1/2 inches deep. On top of this spread a good amount of good organic fertilizer. Don't worry about too much. It won't burn if it is certified organic. Then water the hell out of it with more molasses. In 2 months time the soil will be soft and there will not be any puddles standing after a rain Guaranteed
 

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