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  #1  
Old 03-15-2010, 11:16 AM
Grasor Grasor is offline
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Repairing the Builder's Grass

Hey all,

I own a townhome end-unit in Northern VA. The ground here is very hard, lots of clay and stone, seems to be fill dirt quality soil. The grass in my lawn is a hodge podge of average looking grass which I've tried in the past to thicken and make nice and green to little avail. I have been successful in getting rid of the dandelions and other weeds, but the grass continues to be ugly, "builder grade," grass.

What's a good solution for this outside of tearing it all out? Biggest problem is, I don't own the whole yard, my property line ends 8' away from the house, but the lawn continues about another 5' to the bike path. I still want it to look "good" but the HoA may take issue with me tearing up "their" grass.

Any suggestions?
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Old 03-15-2010, 03:43 PM
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cgaengineer cgaengineer is offline
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Originally Posted by Grasor View Post
Hey all,

I own a townhome end-unit in Northern VA. The ground here is very hard, lots of clay and stone, seems to be fill dirt quality soil. The grass in my lawn is a hodge podge of average looking grass which I've tried in the past to thicken and make nice and green to little avail. I have been successful in getting rid of the dandelions and other weeds, but the grass continues to be ugly, "builder grade," grass.

What's a good solution for this outside of tearing it all out? Biggest problem is, I don't own the whole yard, my property line ends 8' away from the house, but the lawn continues about another 5' to the bike path. I still want it to look "good" but the HoA may take issue with me tearing up "their" grass.

Any suggestions?
Approach the HOA and tell them you plan on improving the lawn and they will probably have no problem with it. May I suggest you skip seeding and put down some sod of choice?
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Old 03-15-2010, 03:45 PM
Grasor Grasor is offline
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Originally Posted by cgaengineer View Post
Approach the HOA and tell them you plan on improving the lawn and they will probably have no problem with it. May I suggest you skip seeding and put down some sod of choice?
I'll run it by them and see what they will let me do. Wonder how much sod will cost from a sod dealer and not Home Depot; did my small backyard with their stuff and it was a relative fortune.

Nice signature by the way haha.
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Old 03-15-2010, 03:45 PM
Stevegotcrabgrass Stevegotcrabgrass is offline
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Depending on budget either sod or overseed/slit seed. Put down good topsoil about 2-3 inches if the soil is crap
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Old 03-15-2010, 03:48 PM
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AI Inc AI Inc is offline
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Originally Posted by Stevegotcrabgrass View Post
Depending on budget either sod or overseed/slit seed. Put down good topsoil about 2-3 inches if the soil is crap
Thats exactly what ya need to do as the builder probably graded whatever was on site and seeded. Untill ya amend the soil , your tossing your money out the window.
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Old 03-15-2010, 03:51 PM
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cgaengineer cgaengineer is offline
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I'll run it by them and see what they will let me do. Wonder how much sod will cost from a sod dealer and not Home Depot; did my small backyard with their stuff and it was a relative fortune.

Nice signature by the way haha.
You are looking at $200 or less per pallet of sod. Around here I have yet to see a pallet of any kind of grass go for more then $175. Grasses common to your area will be cheapest...around here that's bermuda and I can get it for $75 per pallet if I pick it up. A pallet of bermuda covers 504 sq ft, some of your other grasses like zoysia cover only 450 sq ft.

And like the others said...you would be best to amend some fertile soil to the area or compost.
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Old 03-16-2010, 07:59 AM
Grasor Grasor is offline
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I believe the common grass type here is Tall Fescue, but the sod farm will be able to tell me that.

To renew the soil, do I just rent a tiller from Home Depot, rip it all up, rake it out, and treat with soil conditioner w/ clay breaker? I'd need a lot of top soil for 2-3 inches. We are talking about approx. 1,350 sq. feet.
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