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Old 08-29-2005, 01:33 PM
fall46 fall46 is offline
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 141
Renovation details

Regarding starting completely over with my front yard I wanted to clarify two aspects. After killing it off with Roundup I was planning on simply using a slit seeder but the rental shop said it weighs over 450 pounds and would not fit in my vehicle thus requiring me to rent or borrow a truck. I also seem to be reading that its primarily geared toward renovations to overseed existing lawns. Although I have read posts where people use it when completely starting over making sure to make 2 passes one diagonally.

The lawn is more than 50% crabgrass and clover I will kill it completely off using Roundup
I guess my question is will a normal dethatcher or a sod cutter essentially be able to pull/loosen/scalp the old dead grass/ weeds so Iam left with primarily soil. I understand that by not using the slit seeder it will add the step of having to apply the seed manually via my broadcast spreader and then use a fine rake to get good seed to soil contact . It seems many posts on Lawnsite are very pro slit seeders, and I don't know if thats because it makes the process that much more efficient/faster and or because it can prep the soil and seed in one step not to mention the great seed to soil contact that it achieves. Iam sure for all those reasons contractors are recommending them as the tool of choice.. I do not want to skimp on doing this right way. And wondering if I can achieve the same results if I use either a sod cutter or a dethatcher (assuming of course I would have to seed manually via my broadcast spreader and then rake in to achieve good soil contact) Or is the germination success rate that much better with the slit seeder? Bottom line is after I use Roundup and the crabgrass and grass is dead (and not being able to use a slit seeder) ..........of the two would a sod cutter or dethatcher(powerrake) be better to pull/scalp the majority of dead turf off so that Iam primarily left with dirt? Which is better @ removing the top layer of DEAD grass.
Question #2
Operating under the assumption my soil test comes back and stated I needed to add compost/amendments. The other question I have is tilling the soil after I have removed the dead grass. I have read several different approaches 1# School of thought is to minimize this as much as possible as doing so will bring up rhizomes and or dormant weeds to the surface which may give them a chance to germinate. Would you then mist the dirt with Roundup to kill anything that has been brought up to the surface? Or apply a starter fertilizer that contains Sidurion or another "safe premergent chemical" for new seedlings that would prevent germination of any weeds. Or because seeding in fall you don't have to worry about this as the germination cycle happens in spring?
#2 School of thought seems whether a soil test calls for it or not its beneficial to add some peat moss and or compost and till to a depth of 4-inches (and Iam operating under the assumption the soil test will call for amendments).
Which method are people using and what device sod cutter or dethacther would help me achieve these goals?

Thx
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