Re-turf or Renovate Your Lawn?

Greensleeves Blog | 21 September 2021
Re-turf or Renovate Your Lawn?

Lawns can become damaged, get ruined or die for a huge number of reasons from chafer grub infestations to sun scorching. If this happens, there are a few ways that you can get back a beautiful, lush-green and healthy lawn. Read about re-turfing vs lawn renovations to learn which is the best for your garden.

Renovate or returf a new lawn


Re-turfing and lawn renovations are both popular options. When a lawn has become extremely damaged, it can often seem like there’s no possibility of recovery or repair. However, in the vast majority of cases, a lawn renovation will still be extremely effective in bringing your garden back to life. Find out more about lawn repair or keep reading to learn how to choose between re-turfing or renovating.


Re-turfing vs Renovating

Re-turfing is the process of removing the old lawn and laying down brand new turf. This is a very expensive option, even for small gardens, but is often popular when people believe their lawns are past recovery. However, this is rarely the case!

Renovating a lawn is a significantly cheaper option compared to re-turfing. Lawn renovation repairs damage by rejuvenating soil health and reseeding the area to get a thick and green lawn again.

Re-turfing is actually rarely the best option; most lawns can be renovated whether they’ve been damaged due to weeds, chafer grubs or sun scorching. Renovation, for most gardens, is the better (and cheaper!) choice.

Both re-turfing and renovating should be carried out in the early autumn or spring, as this is when grass will establish most easily, giving your lawn the best chance of success.


The Renovation Process

The process of renovating a lawn has five steps that restore turf and get grass looking thick again.


Stripping back

The first few steps involve stripping the current lawn back. This can help remove the problem that caused the damage, such as weeds, as well as removing dead grass. 

If the lawn is suffering from weeds, the first step will be to treat the weeds using a specialist spray. 

Scarification is then used to remove thatch and old grass. This is more aggressive than some scarification treatments as it’s vital the lawn is stripped back. The debris left from the scarification treatment is then removed.

Hollow tine aeration reduces compaction in the soil by removing small plugs of earth. This allows nutrients, water and air to get into the soil and means that rainwater can more easily drain through the earth, reducing the risk of waterlogging.

It also prepares the ground for a specialist Greensleeves fertiliser and gives the best chance for new seed to germinate, grow and become established.


Specialist Renovation

Once the lawn has been stripped back and prepared, your lawn care expert will then undergo specialist processes to bring the lawn back to life.

This starts with a feed. The ground has to be full of the right nutrients to ensure that it provides the ideal environment for growth. A specialist fertiliser is applied after aeration, designed by Greensleeves to promote growth.

New grass seed is then applied over the lawn, distributed evenly to ensure that the lawn will look green and thick throughout. The grass seed is then followed by a layer of topsoil.

Once the lawn has been reseeded, it has to be allowed time to grow. During this time, it’s essential that the seed stays moist. If it dries out at any time, the seed will fail.

Over time, the new grass will become established. You’ll be left with a thick, healthy and beautifully green garden.



After a renovation treatment, Greensleeves always recommend continued seasonal treatments to keep your lawn healthy. These involve 5 treatments a year that feed your grass the nutrients it needs for that season.

If your lawn is looking damaged, discoloured or even dead, then consider renovation instead of re-turfing. It’s much more affordable and gives beautiful results!

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