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View Full Version : Adding topsoil and seeding....


chrisexv6
05-14-2007, 12:13 AM
Want to level off an area of my lawn by adding abotu 3" of topsoil and then seeding. Im just not sure what seed I should be looking for.

We're in southern CT, and the area gets sunlight basically 90% of the time that the sun is up. It will also get decent traffic, although nothing out of the ordinary for a residential lawn (at least I dont think so).

I see references to mixes with 3 ingredients, some with 2, and some with just 1 (mostly Kentucky blue). This might be a lot to ask in one question, but I was wondering what would grow the best in full sun in our zone (zone 5, i believe?) The faster it starts growing the better :) but Im not against taking the extra time (and even extra $$$ if need be) to get it to grow nicely. Its a decent size area (about 400 sq ft) so its important it looks nice.

Thanks in advance.

-Chris

leejp
05-14-2007, 01:36 AM
I know a lot of folks will tell you to go with a mixture but IMHO no mixture looks as good as a Monoculture (single seed type) Lawn. No dark/light spots, no uneven growth...

I've had good luck with Turf Type Tall Fescue and I'm near your neck of the woods (Dutchess, NY). Here's the stuff I used..

http://www.titanlimited.com/

Some of the rhizome claims are a bit overblown but I like the look of the grass. It's hardy and drought resistant.

I'd also consider perrenial ryegrass.

In full sun unless you plan to water regularly I would avoid the Kentucky Blue as it's not very drought resistant.

Planet Landscaping
05-14-2007, 05:32 AM
Chris,If your close to us ,We can help. Shoot an email to my webpage. Bill

chrisexv6
05-14-2007, 09:55 AM
PL: shot you an email

Lee: thanks for the info. I actually just talked to Lesco really quickly, and they actually suggested something with Kentucky Blue in it (double eagle plus blue). Granted its not a high % of KB, but its still there. I did a little quick research and it seems that tall fescue or some sort of fescue blend might be my best bet (I dont mind watering during the summer, but the less I have to water the better :) ). Now I guess I just need to find a good fescue/fescue blend product. A friend of mine swears by Jonathan Greene, but with a Lesco supply nearby I figured Id might give them a try.

It seems Kentucky Blue is suggested for maintaining disease and traffic resistance.......could I get a fescue blend with a low amount of KB in it, like Lesco suggested? They also mentioned its getting close to summer heat so the KB % should be low (if any) if I go with a mixture like that. On the other hand, would fescue survive pretty well on its own? Maybe I could avoid the KB altogether.

Thanks again.

-Chris

leejp
05-14-2007, 11:18 AM
PL: shot you an email
It seems Kentucky Blue is suggested for maintaining disease and traffic resistance.......could I get a fescue blend with a low amount of KB in it, like Lesco suggested? They also mentioned its getting close to summer heat so the KB % should be low (if any) if I go with a mixture like that. On the other hand, would fescue survive pretty well on its own? Maybe I could avoid the KB altogether.
-Chris

Hmmm.... I thought Tall Fescue has better disease and traffic resistant than Kentucky Blue. That's why they use in athletic fields. If I had a show lawn... I would go with Kentucky Blue (more attractive). But my lawn is a play lawn. It had Kentucky Blue and I've been overseeding with Tall Fescue. Again, I've had good luck with the Titan Limited stuff.

A new lawn is a good opportunity for a monoculture lawn which again is the most attractive. Why not go for it? You can always overseed if you don't like it or a disease strikes that wipes out only that particular type of gras (I've never seen it happen).

Also... it seems like you're willing to do the work and spend a little $$$. Put in a sprinkler system or at least the plumbing for it. Shouldn't be a big deal if you're moving dirt anyway.

Finally... If your soil isn't too bad (dirt/topsoil and not clay or rocks) and just needs to be raked I would get mushroom manure or mushroom dirt instead of topsoil. Price is about the same but the stuff's better than starter fertilizer.

chrisexv6
05-14-2007, 11:57 AM
Thanks for the additional info.

Looks like Ill go with tall fescue/fescue turf blend (I noticed lesco has a turf fescue blend). Wish I could try the Titan stuff, but their dealer locator only shows 1 place within 100 miles, and according to their website they dont carry Titan stuff. I might also look into the corresponding Jonathan Green product (they come in smaller bags so I can get a better match for my small square footage).

Im actually regretting not adding the irrigation pipe to the trench that I already filled in. But I still can run a cold water line to a nearby fence, so I will just put an inground sprinkler head near that line and it should water the area nicely (got a couple cheap water timers that work OK).

Havent heard of mushroom manure/soil, dont know where to get it around here.......Ill do some searching. I used a bow rake to remove 99% of the rocks from the dirt thats left over. There are some still left but very little.

-Chris

leejp
05-14-2007, 02:23 PM
For Titan Limited Tall Fescue

http://www.cooperseeds.com/froogle.php3?prod=123

~$100 for 50# delivered. Can't beat that! I'd order more than what's needed and keep the leftover in a cool, dry place for spot seeding and such.

This is not the ideal time to seed. Your lawn will be fighting the summer heat just as it's getting established. So even if you water regularly through the summer chances are you'll lose some and have barespots come Fall. Another advantage with tall fescue if you need to seed this time of the year is that it germinates much faster than kentucky blue.

chrisexv6
05-14-2007, 02:37 PM
Thanks for the link.

The timing is horrible, I know. Unfortunately I cant go thru the summer without at least some lawn in this area......I dont feel like walking thru dirt to get to my shed and pool filter :) my 15 month old son does have an awful lot of fun with the dirt though!

I was originally thinking of sodding, but its an awful lot of sod (60 pieces at least), and Ive never been able to find good quality sod locally. Even if I pay more (you get what you pay for?) it ends up weedy sometime during the season. Im thinking mostly because it consists of more Kentucky Blue than anything else, so its not ideal for these conditions anyway.

If I can get even spotty coverage with seeding, Ill be happy.....its sure better than looking at 1" of loose dirt. Come fall Ill throw some more seed down if need be.

-Chris

leejp
05-14-2007, 02:45 PM
Thanks for the link.

The timing is horrible, I know. Unfortunately I cant go thru the summer without at least some lawn in this area......I dont feel like walking thru dirt to get to my shed and pool filter :) my 15 month old son does have an awful lot of fun with the dirt though!

I was originally thinking of sodding, but its an awful lot of sod (60 pieces at least), and Ive never been able to find good quality sod locally. Even if I pay more (you get what you pay for?) it ends up weedy sometime during the season. Im thinking mostly because it consists of more Kentucky Blue than anything else, so its not ideal for these conditions anyway.

If I can get even spotty coverage with seeding, Ill be happy.....its sure better than looking at 1" of loose dirt. Come fall Ill throw some more seed down if need be.

-Chris

Throw some annual down and water it you'll have a lawn next week. Right when it's dying from the August heat is when you get ready to seed with the real deal...

chrisexv6
05-14-2007, 03:11 PM
Any old annual?

I think I have some Scotts sitting in my shed. How long can I keep the good stuff I just bought? I can store it unopened until August inside the basement, cool and fairly dry.

-Chris

leejp
05-14-2007, 10:09 PM
Any old annual?

I think I have some Scotts sitting in my shed. How long can I keep the good stuff I just bought? I can store it unopened until August inside the basement, cool and fairly dry.

-Chris

Try the annual... it's just for cover until Mid/Late August when you seed for real.

I've kept seed around a couple of years in the basement and it still came up.

upidstay
05-17-2007, 02:49 PM
Go back to Lesco, get some Double Eagle. They have it in 10lb bags which will do 3000', or in 50 lb bags. Scratch up the soil, put down the seed, starter fertilizer, light dose of lime, and a cover. Use either straw or pellet mulch. DO NOT USE HAY. Keep it moist NOT WET. Water 5-15 minutes 2-3 times a day.That should establish quickly, and give you enough lawn to keep the mud to a minmum.
Previous posts were right, this is one of the worst times to plant grass, but such is life.
Then, in the fall, go back to Lesco and get a bag of Team Mates Plus. It's a blend of Dwarf Turf Type Tall Fescue, blue, and perrennial rye. Rent a slit seeder and seed in 2 directions. Repeat the fert, lime, and watering. If there are alot of weeds in it, spray with a weed killer 4-6 weeks before seeding, or spot spray with round up any time. If the lawn is mostly weeds, consider spraying the entire thing down with Round up and kiling everything, then seeding through that. Done that for years and always had excellent results. There is no lead time with round up. Wait for it to dry and then seed.

Good luck

chrisexv6
05-17-2007, 09:27 PM
Thanks for the replies!

Im going to go ahead and use "any old seed" to see it for now (I have a scotts mix of annual and perennial grasses sitting in my shed). In the fall Ill go for real and use a good product (like Team Mates).

Does Home Cheapo rent silt seeders? Ive never checked.

-Chris