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View Full Version : Restarting new front lawn need some help.


bobby5
04-05-2010, 09:22 PM
I dont have much experience with lawns and im redoing my front lawn because the previous owner of my house had a circle gravel driveway going through the middle of it and decided they didnt want it anymore and just through some dirt over the gravel and now grass doesnt grow very good there. im haveing someone come in this weekend with a bobcat and dig up the gravel about 6 inches where the gravel was and then put top soil on top. Im gonna go ahead and get them to scrap all the grass off the rest of the front lawn so i can start over. My question is after they dug it all up and put topsoil down what would be the best steps in making a beautiful lawn? What grass seed to get what kind of fertilizer, put straw down etc? Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks

1999frontier
04-06-2010, 06:45 AM
Depends on your location as to what type of grass to seed. Where are you located?

bobby5
04-06-2010, 01:36 PM
im located in southern indiana

GrassStitcher
04-07-2010, 07:21 AM
Turf type fescue / perennial rye with 10% blue grass is my favorite. insect resistant, blue fills in and great look. Low nitrogen fertilizer, some kind off mulch - straw has weed seeds so try some kind on penn mulch or weed free straw. Make sure to keep moist for next two weeks, DON'T LET DRY OUT. Keep in mind spring is not the best time, expect weeds / crabgrass this summer, you will need to touch up in the fall.

bobby5
04-07-2010, 08:04 AM
when would be the best time to do this? Fall? Should i till up the soil before i spread grass seed?

GrassStitcher
04-07-2010, 08:15 AM
Fall is the ideal time but you can do in spring and touch up in fall. With the Grass Stitcher there is no tilling, just roll it over the area and spread seed. It creates the needed soil / seed contact and an extra wide hole to accept seed.

bobby5
04-10-2010, 12:09 AM
Is there any way i can make my lawn look halfway decent until fall? I wonder if that grass stitcher would work in the area i need for grass to grow?

RigglePLC
04-10-2010, 08:14 AM
Sticher is right. Fall is better. Start about Aug 15. Kill old grass. remove old sod, till and reseed starting about Late Aug or Sept 1 in your area--I would estimate. Seed when temps come down to about 80 during the day. Include starter fertilizer, and follow up with slow release fertilizer at 30 and 60 days later. Stay with top-quality seed, as Stich described above. Scotts is usually a good choice. Or go mail order if you want to go better yet. Irrigate every day for 30 days.

GrassStitcher
04-10-2010, 05:09 PM
FYI - If anyone wants to try a Grass Stitcher, I just enacted a 100 guarantee you'll be happy policy, if for any reason its not what you thought it would be I'll refund your money, along with the 100% lifetime warranty on the entire tool.

Plus anyone viewing this post I will give free shipping (about a $14.00 value) till the end of this month if you call (860-365-8012) and said you read this on Lawnsite.

White Gardens
04-10-2010, 05:43 PM
Sticher is right. Fall is better. Start about Aug 15. Kill old grass. remove old sod, till and reseed starting about Late Aug or Sept 1 in your area--I would estimate. Seed when temps come down to about 80 during the day. Include starter fertilizer, and follow up with slow release fertilizer at 30 and 60 days later. Stay with top-quality seed, as Stich described above. Scotts is usually a good choice. Or go mail order if you want to go better yet. Irrigate every day for 30 days.


Good advice there.

If you want the best tilling results I suggest renting a Toro Dingo with the Toro Soil Cultivator. That way you help break up the compacted root zone and have a perfect seed bed in one pass.

Here is my take on seedings though. Fall is the best suggested time to start a lawn. You can seed this time of year but you will need to babysit it the first 2 weeks in order to make sure that you have the correct moisture content without being over-watered, or under watered to get good germination.

betmr
04-10-2010, 09:53 PM
You have been given some good advice here, but there are alternatives. Is it possible you could post any photos of the area in question? Here in New Jersey I strive for blue grass, and I hold off on high blends of Blue grass sowing, till early fall. This time of year, I will over seed a high ratio of rye grass seed (70% different rye's & 30% blues) to get, and/or keep a thicker turf & patch bare spots. Rye grass germinates and matures quickly, there fore it is more tolerant of the heat and less moisture that the summer brings. Blue grass and fescues, have long germination and maturity times and so, are much less tolerant of the rigors of summer, because the plants are not mature by that time.

There are also alternatives to killing all the grass that is there, roto-tilling, and sod cutting. Grass will grow in the cracks of your sidewalks and pavement. It doesn't take too much to get started, so long as you create the right conditions.

I don't know how big this property is, it could be done with a common garden rake, or a vertical mower (called a De-thatcher, by most on lawn site) Some top soil, to fill the low spots, a lawn roller, seed, starter fertilizer, some kind of mulch, & water.

See if you can post some pictures. Also, think about getting a soil test, and if they can test the make up of the soil - Clay -Loam - Sand, that will help.

If I might be allowed to say without offending anyone in my opinion, Roto-tilling, to make a lawn, creates problems down the road, when all that churned up soil settles un-equaly, making bumps and low spots everywhere.

You just need to scratch up the soil on the surface, for good seed contact. if you need to loosen the soil, you can do that later, with an Aerator.

Think of it like building a house. You never put the foundation on disturbed soil. That's because as disturbed soil settles so will your footings, it's the same with the roto-tiller, you fluff it up nice rake it smooth, plant your lawn, and a couple years down the road, everything settles at different rates, high & low spots, bumps & holes everywhere. In my opinion, leave the Tiller for the Vegetable Garden. You can do it better, cheaper & easier.

bobby5
04-11-2010, 12:17 AM
betmr i think im gonna take your advice and try to scratch up the surface and plant some grass seed it cant do any harm and if it works itll save me about 3 or 4k dollars and a whole lot of time.

betmr
04-11-2010, 09:41 AM
bobby, I don't know the size of your site, but you could do 1 of 2 things. Rent a seeder, which will slice into the soil slightly and drop the seed there. The result is that the seed will sprout in rows, where the slits were made, and fill in slowly over time. Or you can rent a Vertical mower. The rental people may call it that, or De-thatcher, or Power Rake. If you look around this site, you will see that the same machine is called by all three of those names. This machine has numerous blades on a horizontal shaft, that rotate vertically. Make sure it is set to cut into the soil about 1/4 to 1/2 inch. Run this over your lawn, one way back and forth, then perpendicular 90 degrees the other way. Then you can broadcast your seed on this. I would suggest rolling the lawn after putting the seed down, to maximize the soil/seed contact. Spread starter fertilizer, and water in. Keep soil moist, not wet, until a week or two after germination, then start backing off on the water. If you have bare spots, apply some mulch to help keep the soil moist-Straw-pennmulch. I would NOT use peat moss as mulch. It is a good soil amendment, but as mulch....it is hard to wet (Does not absorb water easily) it floats and washes into rows.

Also for this time of year, if blue grass is what you are striving for, Use a 70% rye 30% blue Blend of seed. Then in the early fall, over seed with very high blue grass blend.

White Gardens
04-11-2010, 10:19 PM
You have been given some good advice here, but there are alternatives. Is it possible you could post any photos of the area in question? Here in New Jersey I strive for blue grass, and I hold off on high blends of Blue grass sowing, till early fall. This time of year, I will over seed a high ratio of rye grass seed (70% different rye's & 30% blues) to get, and/or keep a thicker turf & patch bare spots. Rye grass germinates and matures quickly, there fore it is more tolerant of the heat and less moisture that the summer brings. Blue grass and fescues, have long germination and maturity times and so, are much less tolerant of the rigors of summer, because the plants are not mature by that time.

There are also alternatives to killing all the grass that is there, roto-tilling, and sod cutting. Grass will grow in the cracks of your sidewalks and pavement. It doesn't take too much to get started, so long as you create the right conditions.

I don't know how big this property is, it could be done with a common garden rake, or a vertical mower (called a De-thatcher, by most on lawn site) Some top soil, to fill the low spots, a lawn roller, seed, starter fertilizer, some kind of mulch, & water.

See if you can post some pictures. Also, think about getting a soil test, and if they can test the make up of the soil - Clay -Loam - Sand, that will help.

If I might be allowed to say without offending anyone in my opinion, Roto-tilling, to make a lawn, creates problems down the road, when all that churned up soil settles un-equaly, making bumps and low spots everywhere.

You just need to scratch up the soil on the surface, for good seed contact. if you need to loosen the soil, you can do that later, with an Aerator.

Think of it like building a house. You never put the foundation on disturbed soil. That's because as disturbed soil settles so will your footings, it's the same with the roto-tiller, you fluff it up nice rake it smooth, plant your lawn, and a couple years down the road, everything settles at different rates, high & low spots, bumps & holes everywhere. In my opinion, leave the Tiller for the Vegetable Garden. You can do it better, cheaper & easier.

Seriously. I mean really, seriously. :hammerhead:

White Gardens
04-11-2010, 10:21 PM
You have been given some good advice here, but there are alternatives. Is it possible you could post any photos of the area in question? Here in New Jersey I strive for blue grass, and I hold off on high blends of Blue grass sowing, till early fall. This time of year, I will over seed a high ratio of rye grass seed (70% different rye's & 30% blues) to get, and/or keep a thicker turf & patch bare spots. Rye grass germinates and matures quickly, there fore it is more tolerant of the heat and less moisture that the summer brings. Blue grass and fescues, have long germination and maturity times and so, are much less tolerant of the rigors of summer, because the plants are not mature by that time.

There are also alternatives to killing all the grass that is there, roto-tilling, and sod cutting. Grass will grow in the cracks of your sidewalks and pavement. It doesn't take too much to get started, so long as you create the right conditions.

I don't know how big this property is, it could be done with a common garden rake, or a vertical mower (called a De-thatcher, by most on lawn site) Some top soil, to fill the low spots, a lawn roller, seed, starter fertilizer, some kind of mulch, & water.

See if you can post some pictures. Also, think about getting a soil test, and if they can test the make up of the soil - Clay -Loam - Sand, that will help.

If I might be allowed to say without offending anyone in my opinion, Roto-tilling, to make a lawn, creates problems down the road, when all that churned up soil settles un-equaly, making bumps and low spots everywhere.

You just need to scratch up the soil on the surface, for good seed contact. if you need to loosen the soil, you can do that later, with an Aerator.

Think of it like building a house. You never put the foundation on disturbed soil. That's because as disturbed soil settles so will your footings, it's the same with the roto-tiller, you fluff it up nice rake it smooth, plant your lawn, and a couple years down the road, everything settles at different rates, high & low spots, bumps & holes everywhere. In my opinion, leave the Tiller for the Vegetable Garden. You can do it better, cheaper & easier.

Seriously. I mean really, seriously. :hammerhead:

Do you know how many slit seeding jobs I've fixed the last 3 years because of bad soil prep.

You are giving advice that is just asking for multiple issues.

betmr
04-12-2010, 05:16 AM
Do you know how many roto tilled jobs result in wash board turf? And what are the issues ?

White Gardens
04-12-2010, 08:53 AM
Do you know how many roto tilled jobs result in wash board turf? And what are the issues ?

Compaction that isn't releived leading to a shotty and uneven stand of grass, and any unhealthy stand leads to weeds, and disease.

Slit lines of grass that doesn't fill in due to compaction.

Irregular soil consistency at the root zone due to not tilling leaving sparse areas.

Any time you ever have a machine larger than a mower on your lawn you are going to get compaction. Slit seeding over it isn't a fix, it's a band aid.

When you till, you must go back through and lightly compact in order to settle the soil, either by the act of walking across said area when hand raking the fresh till and doing a final grade, or by a small roller you can use by hand in order to make the seed bed stable.

That's why I suggested the toro dingo with the soil cultivator. The tines pulverized the soil in one pass and burying anything with it, including large clods and stones. The rolling basket that travels behind it will compact the soil enough to keep any major settling from happening, as long as the down pressure on the roller is set correctly.

Tilling is the best thing to do for any seed bed in my eyes, it goes along with all cultural practices that should be followed in order to get the healthiest grass possible. Not only are you relieving compaction, but you can also take a look at soil quality and amend as needed to make sure your soil is consistent across the lawn.

If you are still sold on your method, I'll take the time this evening to scan some books for you that teach the till method of seeding a lawn.