Clueless about repairing lawn

Discussion in 'Garden and Lawncare' started by stevedam850, May 3, 2019.

Help Support House Repair Talk by donating:

  1. May 3, 2019 #1

    stevedam850

    stevedam850

    stevedam850

    Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2012
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    We bought a house last October and we have noticed there are many spots of balding grass. The previous owners cut down 2 large trees that covered the back of the house so we have lots of bare spots there. This is one picture of my side yard. Where do I start? Any tips? IMG_8086.JPG
     
  2. May 3, 2019 #2

    Steve123

    Steve123

    Steve123

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2017
    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    57
    Where are you located? New grass has a hard time surviving a hot, dry summer. Best would be, in September, first spray roundup to kill any weeds. Wait a week, rent a small roto-tiller and go over the area, then put down sod.
     
  3. May 3, 2019 #3

    stevedam850

    stevedam850

    stevedam850

    Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2012
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    I’m in upstate NY. I was told to wait till after last frost then to rack it and spread new grass seed.
     
  4. May 3, 2019 #4

    Gary

    Gary

    Gary

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2005
    Messages:
    671
    Likes Received:
    471
  5. May 3, 2019 #5

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

    Fixer Upper Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2013
    Messages:
    5,321
    Likes Received:
    1,880
    Location:
    Erie, PA
    Grass seed doesn’t like to be laid right on top of the soil and expected to grow. First off if you do that birds will eat a lot of it and the wind will blow the rest away. Along with that very little will root down into the soil. The idea of tilling it up is good but you will loose what you have growing now in the process. I would rake the area good and then go over it with a metal rake and scratch it up good down an inch if possible. I would add some top soil to level out the low spots and then seed it by hand broadcasting the seed of choice for your area. Be careful buying seed as some places have last year’s seed and you will get a catch from it but the yield will be down to maybe half. After you get the seed on rake it again to work the seed in just a little and get it in contact with the soil. It wont all be covered but a lot of it will be. Then get some bails of straw not hay and lightly cover all the seeded areas. The idea of the straw is to not cover it totally but to provide some shade and protect the seed and even help hold in some moisture as it gets started. After that wet it down and wait.


    The seed you will find has all kinds of prices and different grass types in it. Most has a percentage of annual rye grass that is in it to come up first and hold the soil till the other grass takes hold. Cheap seed is mostly these larger rye seeds.


    Once the grass starts coming on if the straw was done right there is no reason to remove it. The grass will come right up thru it. wait to mow it till it gets well established and don’t cut it real short for the first year.


    If that sounds like a lot of work you can call a hydro seed company and they come out and spray on a mixture of mulch and seed and fertilizer that looks like green gook and that’s it. Or you can do as suggested above and have sod laid and have an instant lawn.
     
  6. May 3, 2019 #6

    homerowner

    homerowner

    homerowner

    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2015
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    1
    #1 - Send a soil sample out to the local aggie college / university. I believe Cornell has a soil testing / advising service. Costs little money, they'll provide an asssessment for soil additions etc.
    #2 - All that brown area? Could be grubs. If it were me I'd dose it with Grub-X or something similar. Or go with the nematodes if you want to stay a bit organic.
    #3 - Dethatch the entire lawn. And repeat. Up and down, side to side. Even with a cheap rotary lawn mower attachment.
    https://smile.amazon.com/Arnold-16-...ords=dethatch&qid=1556905985&s=gateway&sr=8-8
    You'll be surprised what it will pull up off the lawn. Rake all that up and dispose of it.
    #4 - Level and scrape the surface, then blast it with seed. More seed than you think you should. Lightly rake it into the dirt. Drop hay or burlap over it. Water only early in the morning. Good soakings.
    #5 - Milorganite. Every two weeks, a light application. It won't burn the lawn but will instead promote fast growth.
    https://www.milorganite.com
    #6 - Weed control. By hand. Don't let them get ahead of you. No chemicals the first couple of years, you don't want to hurt the new grass. Get on your hands and knees.
    #7 - Mow often, mow high. Sharp blade that will leave small clippings. Leave it on the lawn, it's good fertilizer.

    It won't be an instant fix (like sod) but by next spring you'll have a good base to start all over again No need to dethatch the 2nd year. Hopefully you'll have very few low spots if #4 was done correctly.

    #8 - What low spots you have start to level with light applications of playbox sand. Gradually bring them up to level. Always let the grass poke through.

    Plant a garden. Butterfly bushes, BeeBalm. Get the insects working the yard for you. Get the birds back in play.

    And that neighbors dog? Make friends with it and train it to defecate in the yard of the neighbor you don't like so much.
     
  7. May 3, 2019 #7

    Steve123

    Steve123

    Steve123

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2017
    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    57
    Yeah, everybody seems to want to sell me a "mix", when all I really want is 100% KBG. People often ease up on the watering when they see the grass has sprouted, but the grass they want has not started coming up yet. Only time I have seen 100% KBG seed is at a proper nursery where they sold seed out of a barrel, by the pound. If buying sod, the hardware store is not a good place to get it. You want to know it is fresh, not sitting around for a couple of weeks. Place I get my sod, you have to pre-order it ---- then they harvest it each Thursday, and on Friday morning it is ready to be picked up, or delivered. If I drive to the sod farm a little out in the county, price is half of what I pay in the city.
     
  8. May 3, 2019 #8

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

    Fixer Upper Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2013
    Messages:
    5,321
    Likes Received:
    1,880
    Location:
    Erie, PA
    Yep the mixed seed is what you find in most hardware stores and Wal-Mart. To get good seed like a 100% KBG etc you have to buy it from someone that sells bulk or buy direct from a supplier like a golf course would.
     
  9. May 4, 2019 #9

    stevedam850

    stevedam850

    stevedam850

    Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2012
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you all for the tips!
     

Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page