Best Way to Restore a Diseased Lawn

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    LESLIE: Adrian in Tennessee has a diseased lawn, you’ve got The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?

    ADRIAN: Yes, I have a question about Bermuda seeds. Last year, my lawn was destroyed by armyworms. And I wanted to know what was the best way to reseed my lawn using hybrid Bermuda seeds.

    TOM: So your lawn was destroyed by worms? Is that what you said?

    ADRIAN: Yeah, armyworms. In the South, we get – yeah.

    TOM: Oh, armyworms. Oh, interesting, yeah.

    And what did you do to address the infestation?

    ADRIAN: We used pesticide and …

    TOM: Mm-hmm. OK. Did you kill the lawn in the process?

    ADRIAN: Some of the Bermuda.

    TOM: What you might want to do for that damaged lawn is do a Roundup restoration. A Roundup restoration is where you treat all of the lawn – and actually, it’s a little bit late now because you would do this in the fall. But you would treat all – the entire lawn, which basically kills the lawn and anything that’s coming up through it, like the weeds and all of that. And then, as that starts to die off – I think you have to wait two weeks or so after doing the application – you actually seed right on top of it or seed through it.


    TOM: The way the process works is the new grass grows up through the old grass. And as the old grass kind of deteriorates away, the new grass comes up but the old grass sort of holds it in place and helps it get going. And if you do it early enough, then you have pretty good root depth by the time the warm summer sun starts to arrive.

    And in terms of selecting that seed – you know, you mentioned a couple of seeds. I’m not quite sure with – whether or not either of those work in your part of the country. I might do some more local research on that. But if you’ve had a diseased lawn in the past, that’s one way to deal with it.

    We did that to our house many, many years ago and what we got – the very first spring, it came up and we had a nice, green lawn. It was thin. It wasn’t really dense because it was the first season.

    ADRIAN: Yes.

    TOM: But by the time we got to the second and the third season, man, I tell you what, the diseased lawn was a distant memory and the new lawn was really thick and beautiful. And I’m very, very happy that we did that because the other option would have been to continually treat every ailment the lawn had with pesticides. And I was very pleased with just having done it once and not had to do it again.

    I will say, though, it’s kind of shocking when your entire lawn turns brown at the same time. Your neighbors kind of wonder what’s going on at your house. But it really did work.

    ADRIAN: Yeah.

    TOM: So it’s called a “Roundup restoration.” I might be tempted to give that a try in this particular situation, Adrian.

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