Starting a lawn overhaul can be a big endeavor, so before you start, you want to make sure that the conditions are right for the replacement. Turf Factory Direct are the experts on turf and can help you navigate the complexities of replacing a lawn.
There are a number of reasons to replace a lawn:
- Drought and water conservation – It’s hard to keep a lawn green and soft when there is not enough water available. There are also plenty of other things people would rather use the water for than the lawn, like filling a pool or watering a vegetable garden.
- Weeds – Weeds can overtake a yard and spread to other areas, and possibly kill other plants.
- Pests and vermin – There’s no need to make a mountain out of a molehill, anthill, or volehill, but they can ruin a lawn.
- Disease – Grass and other plants can get sick just like people and animals. If it’s not treated it can become detrimental to the entire lawn, which is why it’s important to learn to recognize the signs of diseases.
- You want to increase the value of your home by enhancing its curb appeal. A green lawn and a picket fence is hard to resist when potential homebuyers are browsing the neighborhood.
- You’re sick and tired of putting in all the time and effort to try to keep the yard looking neat and tidy. Lawns can be really labor intensive to maintain, and sometimes it’s just not worth the money or effort.
In this post, we’ll start with the warning signs, and then give you a breakdown of all the different dimensions you need to keep in mind when you’re considering replacing the lawn.
What are the Signs I Should Replace My Lawn?
If you’re thinking about replacing your lawn, odds are you’ve already noticed the signs. But if not, here are some telltale signs that you might need to replace the whole thing:
- Discoloration – patches of discoloration might indicate poor watering or diseases.
- Poor drainage – If you have water pooling in your yard and making your lawn soggy, this is likely the culprit.
- Bald spots – Spots where grass won’t grow. This can have a number of causes, ranging from soil quality to disease.
- Weeds – Self-explanatory.
- Pest infestation – If you’ve got pests making their homes in your yard, maybe it’s time to replace the habitable environment.
If any of these signs are present in your yard, it might be time to start thinking about replacing the grass with artificial turf.
What to consider: What kind of surface do you want to replace your lawn?
Before you can start any sort of lawn replacement project, you have to have some kind of idea of what you’re going to replace the lawn with.
Do you want something new like a rock garden or mulch?
Or do you want to stick with a grassy lawn?
If you want a green, lush, grassy lawn, but your previous natural grass didn’t fare so well, it’s worth considering grass lawn alternatives. Rocks, succulents, and mulch are just a few examples of popular non-vegetative lawn alternatives, but if you want a grassy lawn and none of the fuss, turf is the best option for you.
Artificial turf is not only an exceptional simulation of the appearance and feel of grass, it outshines it — It’s green, soft, and doesn’t become uneven or overgrown. If you’re looking for something more unique or more colorful, artificial turf has you covered there too with a number of color and texture options.
Climate is a huge factor when selecting landscaping and lawn options. Artificial turf can be installed in just about any climate and is a great replacement for grass in a desert or arid climate where vegetation has a hard time growing. No matter what the weather is like, turf is green and soft all year long.
Drainage is important for all lawns and gardens. Turf has excellent drainage properties as long as it’s installed properly with a good base on a level surface. If you’re replacing your lawn because of flooding problems, you will probably need to level it out before laying down anything new.
Lawn Maintenance & Durability
What was it that made you replace your lawn in the first place? Drought? Pests? Whatever the reason, it’s important to consider how those conditions that prompted you to replace the lawn will affect your new lawn. You don’t want to keep having to replace your lawn because of the same problems.
The act of removing the lawn may address whatever the problem is, but if you are replacing your lawn, you might as well replace it with the most durable, attractive, and low-maintenance option. Turf is impervious to disease, resistant to being walked on, stomped on, or covered by shade, drought-proof, and suppresses the growth of weeds.
What to consider: Size of the lawn
The size, shape, and measurements of your lawn ultimately factor into cost and time. The larger the lawn, the more it will cost to remove it and redo it, and the longer it will take to do so.
What to consider: Cost
When you start thinking about a lawn replacement, you have to consider several monetary factors.
What is the cost to remove the lawn?
Step one is often easier said than done. Removing a lawn can be difficult, and may require significant equipment and labor investment depending on the size and its condition. Make sure to factor that into your budget.
What is the cost to replace the lawn?
The cost to replace a lawn is going to depend on the size, how much preparation needs to be done, and whether you will be doing the work yourself or hiring help.
When you see the initial cost by the foot for artificial turf, some people hesitate. Artificial turf has a more expensive face value than grass seed, but when you look closer, you see the reality: turf has a higher upfront cost and installation effort than natural grass, but it ends up saving thousands of dollars and hours of maintenance that a regular grass lawn requires over the years. The cost of a natural grass lawn adds up over the years and can be more effort to maintain than it’s worth, compared to the minimal effort of maintaining turf.
What to Consider: Methods of How to Remove the Lawn
If you’re planning on removing the lawn yourself, or just need to be fluent in the language of asking for what you need, there are several different methods for lawn removal. The method will depend on what you’re planning on replacing the lawn with as well, because of how removal can affect the surface for the coming lawn. Lowe’s is a good resource for more information on the process and products for lawn removal.
Tilling is the process by which soil is agitated, meaning you spend time turning it over or grinding it up. It can be done by hand with a shovel, but if you’re working on a larger area, you likely want to use something like a rototiller or another type of excavation tool.
Renting this equipment can be a good way to go, as you probably won’t need the machine for longer than a few days, making this a pretty good option. Tilling is also a part of the turf installation process, so you’re killing two birds with one stone here.
A less environmentally friendly option, but it’s also less labor-intensive. You can just spray and let things be, while the herbicide kills most microorganisms. It’s best to use herbicide in the dry season because water will wash away the herbicide before it has a chance to work. It’s important to be mindful that herbicide will kill weeds and unwanted growth, but it can affect the chemical balance of the soil.
If you go with this method and plan to grow anything on the soil afterward, you will need to wait a period of time to ensure the chemicals have dissipated. One of the benefits of turf is that it is unaffected by herbicides and makes the decision process simpler.
For yards in hot climates that are bathed in direct sunlight, solarization is a good method to get a lawn ready for a change. You mow, water, and then cover the lawn with plastic for 6+ weeks, which will kill most organisms and prevent photosynthesis, all for very little cost, and no need for intense chemicals.
Once the grass is dead, you will still need to go through and remove any leftover vegetation to prepare the yard for a new lawn. This process can be labor intensive and the cost of plastic covering is affordable, but can quickly grow, especially for a larger lawn.
Smothering & Composting
Covering the yard with newspaper, cardboard, and other organic matter for around 2 months, will start the process of composting the yard. It prevents photosynthesis and has the added benefit of infusing nutrients into the soil which promotes future vegetative growth. It’s labor-intensive and time consuming, but the most cost-effective and one of the environmentally friendly methods of all the ones mentioned here.
What to Consider: Preparing the Surface
When you prepare a surface for artificial turf or any other landscaping project, you need to make sure you’ve thought out the costs and time requirements once you’ve removed the lawn. Turf requires an even, level surface and a good base for drainage. If your yard has problems with drainage, you’ll need to make sure it’s leveled to prevent more water pooling. You need to also make sure the yard is free of debris before laying down any kind of new lawn.
Leveling isn’t the easiest thing to do, but you can do it yourself with compacting tools you can rent from a store, or by stomping it with your feet. You can use common tools you already have in your garage, like a shovel, tamper, rake, or similar tools for this part of the process.
If you’re working with a larger area or have more major leveling, however, it’s likely you’ll need some excavation machinery, such as a grader, which can increase the cost of the project. For small and medium sized lawns you can do yourself, but don’t want to do manually, you can rent smaller machinery like compactors from hardware stores for a reasonable price.
What to Consider: Replacement Process
Using a natural grass seed may seem like the easiest process of replacing the old lawn, but you have to remember that as easy as sprinkling seeds is, caring for them and waiting for them to sprout, take root, and grow is a long process that requires a lot of attention.
Artificial turf installation can be a big project, but it is relatively a simple one, and it is possible to do in one day with a little bit of help. Depending on the size and current state of the lawn, it could take a couple of days to complete, but the end result is worth it. No more mowing, weeding, fertilizing, or watering. Having to frequently water a lawn may not seem like a big deal to most, but water conservation is extremely important to the environment.
Replace A Grass Lawn with Turf
Artificial turf is the best choice for lawn replacement when you consider its style, appearance, and overall cost. If you’re still hesitant about installing turf instead of natural grass, you can read more about their pros and cons so you can make the best decision for yourself. Turf isn’t just for lawn though, it makes for great gym flooring, putting greens, and is pet and kid friendly. At Turf Factory Direct, we make sure that you’ve been taken care of when you decide to install artificial turf. If you want to learn more or start planning out an artificial space right away, get in touch with our experts or start browsing our products today.