Yard Restoration is the process of stabilizing impacted customer property such as excavated holes in your lawn, replacing shrubbery, sidewalk panel replacement, and repairing holes cut in blacktop or concrete driveways. Yard Restoration is a result of planned construction or emergency repairs to our utility equipment.
Contact our Call Center at 800-895-4999 to inquire if your address is scheduled for Yard Restoration.
The four elements of a successful Yard Restoration process include: good restoration material, good application of the restoration material, consistent good maintenance, and favorable weather. Learn more about each element below.
We use good quality black dirt, weed-free seed, and appropriate erosion control measures because a properly maintained lawn grown from seed develops a strong root system and a healthy turf. Erosion control measures are used to keep the restored area moist, hold the seed in the soil, and enhance seed germination. Sod is used only in extenuating conditions or when weather/ground conditions require additional BMPs. However, sod is a high maintenance stabilization BMP and experience has shown the mortality rate of sod approaches 70 percent even if an underground sprinkler system is used and the rest of the property is sod.
Since soil conditions affect restoration, the impacted area is prepped by removing any temporary fill and spreading a minimum of 2-3 inches of quality composted black dirt. Weed-free seed is used for stabilization and restoration. We apply a starter fertilizer with the grass seed to stimulate germination and control weeds that are always present in the soil. If needed, an erosion blanket is secured in place with staples. The blanket consists of a wood fiber mesh that completely disintegrates and does not damage lawn mowers.
After restoration is complete, all ongoing maintenance is the responsibility of the customer. This includes watering, weeding, mowing, fertilizing, and sealing hard surface restoration. Each customer has a unique lawn maintenance strategy, influenced by weather conditions, soil conditions, season of the year, and personal interest. Each home in Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin receives a door hanger with Yard Restoration maintenance instructions when restoration is complete.
Watering: The objective is to maintain adequate moisture in the soil for germination to take place and achieve at least 70 percent stabilization. The restored area should receive about 1 inch of water each week. Based on weather conditions, local municipal watering restrictions, sprinkler type, and soil condition, the restored area should be watered at least 10 minutes, two to three times daily for the first three weeks. During weeks four through six, decrease the frequency and increase the length of watering to maintain adequate soil moisture. Going forward, water the area as needed to maintain adequate soil moisture.
It is best to water early morning or late evening when the air is still so water will seep into the soil. Do not let puddles form and minimize foot traffic until the first mowing. Inconsistent watering will cause spotty seed germination and poor stabilization but healthy weed growth. While grass seed does not sprout at the same time, if the area is consistently watered and weeds removed, the bare spots will fill in with grass.
Weed Control: The weed-free quality of our restoration materials and restoration application should minimize the presence of new weeds. However, the struggle between grass and weeds is never ending and your new grass needs help to develop a strong root system. Even if your lawn did not have any obvious weeds before the utility project, weed seed is always present in soil. If you do not consistently water, mow, and pull the weeds, the weeds will take over and stunt new grass growth. Limit the use of weed fertilizer during the first growing season to avoid killing new grass.
Mowing: Weather conditions and watering schedules affect mowing frequency. The first mowing should take place once the lawn reaches at least 3 inches in height, usually after 14 days. Frequent mowing will thicken the turf, minimize weed growth, and minimize grass clippings. Too many grass clippings can suffocate the grass and create dead spots. If an erosion blanket was part of the restoration, remove any loose blanket staples prior to mowing. You may need to adjust the height of your lawnmower to compensate for the new growth.
Weather conditions greatly influence the type of restoration, restoration timing, and ongoing restoration maintenance. Xcel Energy and its customers need to anticipate and respond to changing weather conditions to ensure a successful yard restoration. Weather conditions affect the frequency of watering and mowing, however weed control should continue regardless of weather conditions. While restoration is most effective when nights are cool and soil is warm, it is necessary to stabilize and prevent erosion whenever necessary.
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