Green Grass: FAQs About Starting Over

August 24, 2012 12:00 am

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Any tips on how to kill your lawn and start over?

We try to avoid spraying too many chemicals on lawns to kill them as these are harmful to our river and stream habitats. There are isolated exceptions when we break our rule but generally we’d suggest you strip off the old grass with a sod cutter, thereby exposing the underlying soil, and start over from scratch. While doing this be careful of underlying tree roots. If herbicides are your only option we recommend Killzall by Hi-Yeild. Following their simple instructions should get you the results you’re looking for.

Anything specific to the Portland area we should be aware of?

Key factors in the success of your new lawn will be:

  • Accurately predicting how much sunlight your lawn actually gets during the entire year, so the correct grass type is chosen.
  • The state of health or unhealthiness of your soil and your willingness to correct any deficiencies up front.

What’s the best time of year to do it?

Between now (August) and October 1st is an excellent time.  Next best would be late in the spring, when conditions are favorable and before deciduous trees complete their leaf out.

Do you need your soil tested before you replant?

Yes. This is the only way to accurately know what state of health your soils are in and what exactly is needed to bring them into balance so that your new lawn thrives.  A PH test (Rapidtest) is an easy and inexpensive way to see what your soil is missing.  In the Portland area, most soil needs lime to balance the high acid levels.

 What’s the best grass type to plant in the PDX area?

Full to mostly full sun, high use, and a willingness to provide high care: A ryegrass blend.

Moderate to low sun, lower use, and interest in lower water and care: A fescue blend.


Our landscape department can make your grass green, and your yard a dream!

Call for an appointment at 503-256-2223

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