It's time to turn that brown lawn green

If your lawn is brown and bald after a summer of touch-football games and barbecues, early fall is the best time of year to plant a new one. According to specialists at the Home Depot, the process can be broken down into six steps:

• Rake the soil smooth, removing all large roots, stones, and debris.

• Add organic matter. Dig or till into the soil a 1-inch layer of compost, sphagnum peat moss, or dried manure. Smooth area again with rake.

• Seeding. If the area you are seeding is smaller than 150 square feet, scatter the seed by hand. For larger areas, use a broadcast or drop spreader.

• Divide the seed into two equal portions. Sow the first portion across the lawn in rows, and the second portion at right angles to the first.

• Mulch lightly after seeding the area to keep soil moist.

• Gently water the seeds immediately after seeding, soaking the soil six inches deep. A minimum of seven days is needed for seeds to germinate. Until seedlings are visible, water with a sprinkler as often as needed to keep the soil moist, until the grass is a half-inch or so high.

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