When it comes to home improvements, a bad lawn sticks out like a sore thumb if it is in poor condition. Most of the 'problem' lawns we receive inquiries about were planted over 30 years ago. Just as research has benefited medicine, so has it benefited horticulture.


Great strides have been made with breeding improved varieties of turf grass which are far superior to older varieties of grass. Many new cultivars have improved growth characteristics as well as 'built-in' resistance to insects and disease. These new turf varieties can be easily introduced during lawn renovation procedures.


Definition of a 'Cultivar'
A "cultivated variety" of a plant that shows improved growth characteristics.

Video of Lawn Renovation completed in Fall 2011


Same lawn 3 weeks later:



Thick thatch creates bare spots in a lawn

While surveying older problem lawns, we usually find a thick thatch layer contributing to many of the lawn's problems. These thatch layers often measure over one-inch in depth. While lawn aeration, liming and dethatching will help prevent this sort of undesirable thatch layer from developing, we've found these super-thick thatch layers should be removed with a sod cutter. Starting a new lawn from bare soil completely eliminates the existing thatch problem and allows for planting of all new and improved turfgrass varieties.

Shade lawn
The next spring after a Fall lawn renovation
on a shady lawn in Mt Lebanon, Pa.

Alternatives to a major lawn renovation

For those clients who desire less costly measures, we can offer suggestions for making more gradual improvements to your home lawn. But whichever way you decide to go, it's very important to work with nature while performing any successful lawn improvement program, and that means either the Spring or Fall in Pennsylvania.

While desire seems to run much higher for this sort of activity in the Spring, we still recommend Fall as being the best season for success. September is the best lawn improvement month in Pennsylvania. Contact us today for an evaluation of any lawn in our service area. 

One of our top requests for lawn renovation comes from homeowners who want to get rid of invasive Zoysia grass, due to its straw brown (dormant) coloration through much of the year in Pennsylvania

Zoysia grass remains straw brown all winter in the northeast

Renovating a lawn in September, at the best time of the year for lawn renovations, can bring this sort of result.

New lawn

Recommendations for growing a new lawn in the shade include setting your lawnmower for a 2" to 3" high cut so the grass blades can intercept more light.

Lawn in shade
Thick lawns also help fight weeds!

Lawn pages:

September is for Lawns

Planting New Lawns


Fertilizing Grass


Sod Installation


Growing lawns under trees



Sandy's Garden Blog

Bobscaping landscaping videos

Master Gardener Tips

backyard landscape
garden tools
landscape design
nursery standards
plant names
plant preferences
xeriscaping - dry

bob's blog

fertilizing lawns
lawn planting
lawn renovation
sod a lawn

Yard FAQ

buying seed
cool season
warm season


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