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View Full Version : New house, yard is jacked up.. suggestions? (pics)


flashsplat
06-19-2010, 05:13 PM
My wife and I bought this house about a year and a half ago, and now that we've got most of the internal stuff fixed up, I'd like to work on the yard.

From the door of my house looking out.. it looks like it's going to be a lot of work. Can you look at these pictures and tell me what the cheapest, yet most cost effective method would be to make this grass green and luscious? We've got 16k sqr ft. of this crap :P - and we don't have a whole lot of money to invest into the project. Thanks!

http://eve-in.com/pictures/MyYard/MyYard%20%281%29.jpg

http://eve-in.com/pictures/MyYard/MyYard%20%282%29.jpg

http://eve-in.com/pictures/MyYard/MyYard%20%283%29.jpg

http://eve-in.com/pictures/MyYard/MyYard%20%284%29.jpg

http://eve-in.com/pictures/MyYard/MyYard%20%285%29.jpg

http://eve-in.com/pictures/MyYard/MyYard%20%286%29.jpg

I do notice that it is extremely dry. Currently, i don't water it. I figure there's no point at the moment. I do plan to install an automatic sprinkler system though I am a total noob in that department as well. I just hear that RainByrd.com can help me with that.

Basically what i want to know is if this yard is recoverable or if i'm going to have to til it, and plant all new seed or something.

Any help/Advice would be great and greatly appreciated.. Thanks!
-Flashy

agm
06-19-2010, 06:27 PM
ReSod is probably going to be your best option

Stillwater
06-19-2010, 06:38 PM
put your irrigation in first then worry about the lawn

RigglePLC
06-19-2010, 07:06 PM
Those trees on the corners are getting too big. Plan to get rid of them in next year or two. Grass mainly needs water and fertilizer.

fastpine
06-19-2010, 08:42 PM
All that needs to be torn out, or tilled in along with organic ammendments,,,Re seed to save dough,,SOd will be more labor intensive an cost more,,,but it will appeal to your instant gratifacation side,,,

1966vette
06-20-2010, 07:10 AM
You need a new lawn!

1. Spray roundup Aug 1st & Aug 15th – to make sure all the weeds are dead
2. Water yard heavy last week in Aug to allow for easier tilling or plugging.
3. Till top 3” or plug in 4 directions, seed & apply started fertilized Sept 1st
4. Use only the Best KBG seed & double the amount specified on the box
5. Water everyday
6. Invest in high quality hoses and sprinklers

RAlmaroad
06-20-2010, 09:43 AM
Nice starter home! Do you have any idea what type of grass you have? Do as Still water suggested and get in your irrigation. For time being lawn would benefit from any type of even watering system--even sprinklers on a hose. Your lawn can be fixed but warn you--it will require a lot of labor. Starting by adding at least 1/2" of humus or organic material to give those stolons somewhere to root. Those weeds are minor--don't take any advise from Lowe's or Home Depot people! If you decide to move ahead--just write. I'm tired of typing a long list of instructions and guys "Thinking too much trouble" and do something else.
You have centipede grass which requires a Buddhist ritual as a good friend says. Luckily you have two such here and one that is even somewhat warlock. I'm through Columbia, SC every two weeks and Augusta is just a hour away from there.

flashsplat
06-20-2010, 09:44 AM
Thanks all for the replies! Here's some direct responses:
Those trees on the corners are getting too big. Plan to get rid of them in next year or two. Grass mainly needs water and fertilizer.
Couldn't agree more. I plan/hope to rip all of that out infront of the house and plant something.. What i'll plant exactly i dunno. Any suggestions in that regaurd?

All that needs to be torn out, or tilled in along with organic ammendments,,,Re seed to save dough,,SOd will be more labor intensive an cost more,,,but it will appeal to your instant gratifacation side,,,
I'd most likely go with the reseeding, becuase i know sod is pretty labor intensive and i'll be riding solo on this project :P - What is a good, cheap (cheapest!) "organic ammendment" that i can apply over the top of the grass before i till?

You need a new lawn!

1. Spray roundup Aug 1st & Aug 15th – to make sure all the weeds are dead
2. Water yard heavy last week in Aug to allow for easier tilling or plugging.
3. Till top 3” or plug in 4 directions, seed & apply started fertilized Sept 1st
4. Use only the Best KBG seed & double the amount specified on the box
5. Water everyday
6. Invest in high quality hoses and sprinklers
Thanks for the detailed explaination! I was a bit confused by line 3: "...seed & apply started fertilized Sept 1st" - The "started fertilized" part got me. Can you explain?

I certainly appreciate the time line provided. That will help greatly! - I figure when I till it, that'd be a good time to try and install a new sprinkler system aye?

Gotta run for now.. will be back later for more questions! Thanks guys and Happy Fathers day!

bigslick7878
06-20-2010, 12:26 PM
I highly doubt you want to use Kentucky Bluegrass in Georgia.

A warm season grass would be more appropriate.

1966vette
06-20-2010, 12:41 PM
Yea, KBG most likely will be hard to keep in the hot climate.

However, the yard is small & if you water it daily & keep it from going dormant in the hot GA weather it will provide a superior lawn. I have seen photos on the web, maybe this site, of KBG in Atlanta, GA with a sprinkler system & it looked awesome. There was a comparison, pic provided, between his KBG lawn & a neighbor’s warm weather grass, I do not remember the type, & the KBG blew it away. The KBG lawn had a much darker green color & it is a much finer blade grass. Both lawns were pampered with irrigation systems & all the fertilizer a lawn could possible need.

fastpine
06-20-2010, 01:14 PM
A good cheap organic ammendment would be compost or manure,,,,Have it delivered by the truck load,,,forget baggs from lowes or home depot

flashsplat
06-20-2010, 04:28 PM
I highly doubt you want to use Kentucky Bluegrass in Georgia.

A warm season grass would be more appropriate.

Yea, KBG most likely will be hard to keep in the hot climate.

However, the yard is small & if you water it daily & keep it from going dormant in the hot GA weather it will provide a superior lawn. I have seen photos on the web, maybe this site, of KBG in Atlanta, GA with a sprinkler system & it looked awesome. There was a comparison, pic provided, between his KBG lawn & a neighbor’s warm weather grass, I do not remember the type, & the KBG blew it away. The KBG lawn had a much darker green color & it is a much finer blade grass. Both lawns were pampered with irrigation systems & all the fertilizer a lawn could possible need.

Is centipede typically a good grass? If i go with something else, will i have to worry about the centipede growing threw it?

flashsplat
06-20-2010, 04:36 PM
...manure,,,,Have it delivered by the truck load,,,

Lol, i'm sure my neighbors would love me for that :P I've been letting my dogs out in front for a while but they just ain't hitting the spot. ;)

Someone here locally suggested maybe plugging the yard (for air and whatnot) and then slinging some of that sand they use for mortar over the yard (said grass takes to it really well), and then throw out some more centipede seed and water it real good/regular... Does that sound logical?

I could do as one suggested and deweed the yard first, install the sprinkler system, cover yard in that sand and then reseed all over the place. Would that be a good game plan?

The yard is actually quite large. I have a corner lot so it stretches around quite a ways.

Thanks again for all the advice and suggestions. Keep them coming!

flashsplat
06-22-2010, 12:49 PM
Just bumping to get an opinion on the above plan of action. Thanks!

RAlmaroad
06-22-2010, 02:10 PM
Just bumping to get an opinion on the above plan of action. Thanks!

Tif-way 419 Bermuda sod http://www.lawnplugs.com/bermuda/bermuda419.html

Centipede is a beautiful grass, however most people use the wrong fertilizer and it declines. St. Augustine is a wonderful grass that spreads like crazy; is very thick and does well. However it requires a monthly regiment and lots of water. Bermuda is somewhat drought resistant and does well in GA. It is not as sensitive to chemical treatments as centipede. I've never managed any bermuda to really know what it likes or dislikes. Read as much as you can on it and checkout the URL. Some of the other guys that tend it may give you an insight other than it looks good when managed properly.

cgaengineer
06-22-2010, 06:18 PM
Yea, KBG most likely will be hard to keep in the hot climate.

However, the yard is small & if you water it daily & keep it from going dormant in the hot GA weather it will provide a superior lawn. I have seen photos on the web, maybe this site, of KBG in Atlanta, GA with a sprinkler system & it looked awesome. There was a comparison, pic provided, between his KBG lawn & a neighbor’s warm weather grass, I do not remember the type, & the KBG blew it away. The KBG lawn had a much darker green color & it is a much finer blade grass. Both lawns were pampered with irrigation systems & all the fertilizer a lawn could possible need.

It was thermal blue, it doesn't work around here unless you dump a million gallons of water per day on it. If it doesn't work in Atlanta its not going to work in Augusta.

You have 4 choices, 3 will be brown in the winter, the other will be brown in the summer and will need to be overseeded every year anld require tons of water. With your sandy soil I doubt one of them would even survive the first summer.

Bermuda
Centipede
Zoysia
Fescue (Bad idea, brown in summer)

cgaengineer
06-22-2010, 06:19 PM
I would honestly aerate and topdress with compost and water what you have. That lawn will come back with time. Everyone on here suggest sod because its a money producer and its not their own lawn. When you are not financially able to resod getting what you have growing is the best option...especially if you have the time.

flashsplat
07-01-2010, 01:02 PM
Hey cgaengineer, thanks for the advice!

I figure i'll run an aerator and/or a dethatcher over it, then maybe i can sprinkle some sort of healthy soil over those sandy areas, throw out some more centipede seed, water it well (will try to install an automatic sprinkler system) and then hope for the best?

Would a dethatcher help me at all? I'm not really sure what those do.. i suppose if i poke holes in everything with the aerator it won't matter anyway..

What type of fertilizer would you recommend ontop of centipede and when/how often should i hit it?

Thanks!

benjammin
07-01-2010, 01:50 PM
I would honestly aerate and topdress with compost and water what you have. That lawn will come back with time. Everyone on here suggest sod because its a money producer and its not their own lawn. When you are not financially able to resod getting what you have growing is the best option...especially if you have the time.

Good advice.

You don't have a thatch problem, just aerate. Topdressing with sand is fine but expensive by the bag. You should be able to get a truck load (cubic yard) of mortar sand for about $30. Just get a load and hit the lowest spots for now.
Check with the GA Ag ext for details for taking a soil sample (yourself) and get free analysis.
Don't cut that centipede too short. Centipede "can" be cut at 1 inch or less but it will be easier to maintain a healthy lawn at 1.5 or 2 inches. Gradually let it get longer later in the season and leave it at at least 2 if not 2.5 inches over the winter. In the spring, cut it back to 1.5, aerate and topdress.
Be patient, like 2 or 3 years patient. Follow the recommended centipede and soil test result recommendations. Again, don't listen to Lowe's or Home Depot or any commercial see you on tv for some weed-n-feed.
I'd look into a private individual recommended on Lawnsite for herb/pest apps. If you see any fungus on your neighbors, get a preventative app in the fall and spring. Just hand pull weeds for now but if they are overwhelming you, Image is a good hose-end product labeled for centiped (sold at Lowes and HD), just follow the label application.
You only need to fert centipede once in late spring/early summer and you can do it yourself with a grannual fert and broadcast spreader. Don't worry about fert this year.

benjammin
07-01-2010, 01:57 PM
Read up at the Univeristy of Georgia Turfgrass site. Here's a centipede link:http://www.commodities.caes.uga.edu/turfgrass/georgiaturf/Turfgras/1112_Centipede.htm
Looks like they say you could still do a fert application.
You can seed centipede but I wouldn't until you have irrigation.
Congrats on the house and good luck with the yard.

flashsplat
07-01-2010, 02:24 PM
Good advice.
Not so bad yourself!

Thanks for the extra details. As a total noob in the lawn department I need all the details I can get!

Also, this is sounding less expensive than I thought which is awesome! I hope to buy my own riding lawn mower too so i can keep the grass at the required length and not have to pay $40 every week or so ;)

Thanks again,

cgaengineer
07-01-2010, 02:44 PM
Don't buy a riding mower...the cut they produce is sub-par, you would be better off with a nice walk behind.
Posted via Mobile Device

flashsplat
07-01-2010, 03:42 PM
Don't buy a riding mower...the cut they produce is sub-par, you would be better off with a nice walk behind.
Posted via Mobile Device

Bah! Figures... Nothing is ever as easy as it seems :/

RIlawns
07-03-2010, 05:38 PM
Don't buy a riding mower...the cut they produce is sub-par, you would be better off with a nice walk behind.
Posted via Mobile Device

What makes a ride on cut sub par to a commercial walk behind. Just curious as I'm about to buy one or the other. John Deere gt 345 54" deck or a scag 52" hydro walkbehind.

cgaengineer
07-03-2010, 09:56 PM
What makes a ride on cut sub par to a commercial walk behind. Just curious as I'm about to buy one or the other. John Deere gt 345 54" deck or a scag 52" hydro walkbehind.

I am pretty sure this fellow is talking about a lawn tractor...I have yet to see a lawn tractor that produced a nice cut.
Posted via Mobile Device

frotis
07-12-2010, 02:46 PM
Keep us updated with progress pictures.

bigslick7878
07-12-2010, 04:34 PM
I would honestly aerate and topdress with compost and water what you have. That lawn will come back with time. Everyone on here suggest sod because its a money producer and its not their own lawn. When you are not financially able to resod getting what you have growing is the best option...especially if you have the time.

That garbage lawn is not "coming back", did you see how patchy and bare it is??? Guess not.

And if you want the best results sod is the way to go, what do the people who post here have to gain by telling him the "money maker" way to do it? Are they getting the job?

You get what you pay for.

Go "spread a little seed" and tell me what it looks like compared to sod a couple weeks later. Or months.

cgaengineer
07-12-2010, 05:09 PM
That garbage lawn is not "coming back", did you see how patchy and bare it is??? Guess not.

And if you want the best results sod is the way to go, what do the people who post here have to gain by telling him the "money maker" way to do it? Are they getting the job?

You get what you pay for.

Go "spread a little seed" and tell me what it looks like compared to sod a couple weeks later. Or months.

I will promise you that with some TLC it can and will come back...I never said it would be fast.

Maybe they suggest sod because its easier than explaining how to restore a badly neglected lawn or they have never restored a bad lawn and lack the experience. I have brought lawns back that were similar. I am not saying its the easiest way, but for someone who has more time than money it maybe the only option. Maybe you don't understand that warm season grasses spread rapidly unlike their cool season cousins.
Posted via Mobile Device

kbrashears
07-12-2010, 05:55 PM
If you're going to seed, use Riviera Bermuda. It's expensive, but it's worth it.

cgaengineer
07-12-2010, 06:00 PM
If you're going to seed, use Riviera Bermuda. It's expensive, but it's worth it.

Princess 77 is another good choice...I have seen pictures of a Princess lawn 100% filled in and it looked like it had been sodded.
Posted via Mobile Device

cgaengineer
07-12-2010, 06:13 PM
If you're going to seed, use Riviera Bermuda. It's expensive, but it's worth it.

Princess 77 is another good choice...I have seen pictures of a Princess lawn 100% filled in and it looked like it had been sodded.
Posted via Mobile Device

cgaengineer
07-12-2010, 06:30 PM
If you're going to seed, use Riviera Bermuda. It's expensive, but it's worth it.

Princess 77 is another good choice...I have seen pictures of a Princess lawn 100% filled in and it looked like it had been sodded.
Posted via Mobile Device

kbrashears
07-12-2010, 07:31 PM
Princess 77 is another good choice...I have seen pictures of a Princess lawn 100% filled in and it looked like it had been sodded.
Posted via Mobile Device

Maybe, but not near as good a choice as Riviera.

benjammin
07-13-2010, 10:35 AM
That garbage lawn is not "coming back", did you see how patchy and bare it is??? Guess not.


Have you ever seen centipede? I'm guessing not.
With some TLC it will fill in. With some seed and irrigation it could look great next year.

Kiril
07-13-2010, 11:06 AM
What is a good, cheap (cheapest!) "organic ammendment" that i can apply over the top of the grass before i till?

First thing you should do is get your soil tested.

Then you know what you need to amend the soil with. That said, I think it is a safe bet you need a generous amount of compost ... tilled as deep as you can get it (8-12 would be ideal). Don't skimp on soil prep, it is by far the most important thing you will do.

Personally, I would till in amendments first ... irrigation second ... till again, this time not as deep ... level and prep your seed bed.

If you don't know irrigation then I would recommend hiring someone qualified to install, or at least design and point you in the right direction. Irrigation, in locations where it is needed, is the second most important aspect of a successful landscape. This is another area you do not want to skimp on.

knox gsl
07-13-2010, 12:21 PM
"Have you ever seen centipede? I'm guessing not.
With some TLC it will fill in. With some seed and irrigation it could look great next year."


benjammin is right, centipede will fill in well over time, and is very well suited for sandy soil. It will take over most any other grass or weed over time. Most people will tell you to sod, instant problem fixed. If you want a good lawn and have time, topdress, proper fertilizer, proper mowing, and lots of water. This will take 2 seasons but you will be better off for it. Save the money you wanted to spend on sod and a riding mower and install a sprinkler system. There is a lot of good info on here about installing your own system read what people have to say and tips they have and do it yourself.

bigslick7878
07-13-2010, 01:34 PM
Have you ever seen centipede? I'm guessing not.
With some TLC it will fill in. With some seed and irrigation it could look great next year.

If he wants a nice lawn in summer 2011 knock yourself out.

If he wants a nice lawn in 2-3 weeks, without all the TLC for the next year to "bring it back" go that route.

Oh, and this is a homeowner that really doesn't have a clue (no offense homeowner). I am sure he has the knowledge and expertise to nurse a disgusting piece of turf back to health over the next year.

Or not.

cgaengineer
07-13-2010, 01:56 PM
If he wants a nice lawn in summer 2011 knock yourself out.

If he wants a nice lawn in 2-3 weeks, without all the TLC for the next year to "bring it back" go that route.

Oh, and this is a homeowner that really doesn't have a clue (no offense homeowner). I am sure he has the knowledge and expertise to nurse a disgusting piece of turf back to health over the next year.

Or not.

If he lacks experience the best way to learn is to learn on a lawn that you can only improve. The fact he is coming on here asking for advice is a plus. Nothing like spending several thousands of dollars on new sod only to destroy it with incorrect maintenance...besides, where's the satisfaction in paying someone to do everything for you?
Posted via Mobile Device

benjammin
07-15-2010, 01:26 PM
Just wanted to post some picks of my centipede for the OP. New house with sod layed in late 07 and I bought the house May 08.

April 1, 2009, before "green-up" and signs of mole damage.
http://c2.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images02/106/l_4b6311bc75f3403f88a5104e5aac5ad9.jpg

http://c1.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images02/92/l_7b8830470eb34433a0a9e80a16c41f78.jpg

http://c4.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images02/83/l_930ce06400104b708c660b7217d38bdb.jpg
and "no", the sonic/vibrator mole things don't work.

May 7, 2009 after top dressing with motar sand and green-up:
http://c1.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images02/80/l_e4e96576e9524a0aa9309cf6a8e40544.jpg
http://c1.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images02/79/l_c39bd0a3c94d4a9cb6a6ed57c534e34c.jpg

and June 24, 2009 - of course I don't have a close-up of the mole damaged area but it filled in nicely.
http://c3.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images02/95/l_f905a3c0441944d6ac6777a567e85fea.jpg

I'll take some recent pics and post in a day or two.

cgaengineer
07-15-2010, 01:29 PM
That lawn was gone, you should have spent thousands on sod!
Posted via Mobile Device

bballv20
07-16-2010, 09:56 AM
Do you live by a lake? looks like someone put sand in the grass for easier lawn maintenance.

frotis
08-05-2010, 01:24 PM
Any updates?