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How to grow a brand-new lawn in just weeks

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LAWRENCE, Ind. - If your lawn doesn't look its best, there is a method that requires very little effort or maintenance!

We visited a few homes in the same addition in Lawrence.  Many of the lawns looked great, but some had more weeds than grass.  And while several of those lawns were fairly new, the sod job was still full of weeds. In another case, the lawn had been neglected by previous owners.

"We bought the house about a year ago, and it had sat empty for a couple years, so the lawn looked pretty bad," said homeowner Chris Ryan.

Ryan tried to kill the weeds, but that didn't work.  He also considered putting down sod but decided that was too expensive.  So after hearing about a different method, he opted to have a company simply kill his lawn and start over without digging up the old grass.

"The first thing I thought about was, 'What are our neighbors going to think when they go by and see our lawn totally dead?' I gave them a heads up about what I was about to do," said Ryan.

The process started with spraying Roundup on the lawn around the beginning of August. Then, the lawn was sprayed again to make sure the old grass was dead.

"After we kill the grass and weeds we will come in and aerify it heavily.  We'll go over the lawn three or four times with the aerator.  And then we broadcast the seed two different directions over the top of it," said Tom List, owner of List Lawn Care.

List plants a turf-type grass blend.  It's very hardy and looks dark green and comes in very thick.  But looks aren't the only factor--it's all about making sure their grass is extremely difficult to hurt, even in rough weather conditions, such as a hot, dry summer.

"The beauty of it is, this grass will put a root system about two feet down!  That means it's not going to burn out in the summer like a lot of the grasses will. If a homeowner has an irrigation system, that's great.  It will look better, but you won't have to water as much, and sometimes not at all.  So in the long term it's going to save you money," said List.

Several homeowners in the addition have had the process done to their lawns and in a matter of a month, it goes from brown to vibrant green.  Within a year it's thick and dark green.

"I'm extremely happy about it, especially the fact that we save so much money, that's one reason I chose not to sod my property," said Ryan.

How much does it cost?  As with almost any service, it depends on the size of your lawn.  Ryan has a decent amount of grass, so he was surprised to find out how little it was.

"His yard took about $600 for us to do.  If you had to sod it, you are probably looking at $2,000 to $3,000, and there's more maintenance," said List.

If you want this done to your lawn right now, it's too late this year, but now is the time to sign up.  You can call Lists' company or see if another provides the same service if you want to get it done for next year!

"It's a good idea to plan ahead because we do about 30 yards every fall this way, but we book up by June or July with what we're going to do next year.  We already have three or four sold for next fall."

List is considering doing some spring jobs as well, but says the best results come in the fall.  That's when the new grass doesn't have to deal with the possible high temperatures of summer when it's first establishing roots.  As far as safety when using Roundup, many homeowners have concerns about that.

"If you spray it on a trunk of a tree, you're not going to hurt the tree.  If you spray it on a leaf, you will, but we are very careful going around the beds where there are flowers and stuff like that.  We do a thorough job of being careful, but once it hits the soil, it's done and won't affect anything else."