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First Spring with new lawn

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by stslimited84, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. BTC

    BTC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 150

    I'm in the same boat with a newly built house and a new lawn. I'm in central Michigan and I really don't know what my lawn should look like right now. I believe it was seeded, with Spartan Grade A, in the first week of October last year. I do know the areas that were shaded and retained moisture, like under my deck, look much, much better than the rest of my yard. In those spots, the grass is very thick and has actually grown to the point that I had to mow it this weekend. The rest of my yard is very short & not very thick, but it is coming in. I do have some areas where the growth is very sparse, and perhaps even bare.

    I don't know whether to put down some more seed, along with some sort of soil product like Scott's Turf Builder, some starter fertilizer and some sort of weed control. I grew up on a farm, so I feel I should have some idea what to do, but we did not grow lawns on our farm. I know if I had a wheat crop that looked like my yard, I would be concerned. I also grew up in the south, so things work a bit differently up here. I don't know whether to wait and see what happens and reassess in the fall, or whether I should be doing something now. I feel like I should at least put down some fertilizer and weed control.

    Can you no longer get fertilizer that contains phosphorous? I looked around this weekend and could not find any fertilizer that contained some P. Everything was either Nitrogen only, or Nitrogen & Potassium.

    I'm also looking for a push type broadcast spreader. Most of the stuff I've seen looks like cheap, overpriced junk. It's kinda disappointing. Those spreaders you linked sure don't look like much in the pictures, but the reviews are surprisingly positive. I just have a mental hurdle to overcome paying $250 for a five gallon bucket on wheels that's had a hole cut in the bottom of it.

    I should probably start my own thread. I didn't really mean to hijack, especially with my first post. I just had some comments that seemed to pertain to your situation.
  2. BTC

    BTC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 150

    I might have to buy a Grass Stitcher. I looked around this weekend for something like that, but couldn't find anything. Is that thing just like a little rotary cultivator/aerator/soil buster upper? It looks like you could just thow down some seed, fertilizer etc and work it in with that thing.
  3. BTC

    BTC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 150

    I called the local John Deere Landscapes and they were sold out of them. He thought he could have one by Friday. He's going to call me, but mentioned I was under no obligation to buy, which I thought was pretty nice. I plan to use whatever seen my landscaper used, which is Spartan Grade A. I think it's listed here, http://www.graheks.com/docs/Grass Seed.pdf, although the bags at my local nursery do not look like the bags in that pdf. Does your seed bag have a spreader on it, and does the fertilizer contain N,P&K? Would you suggest buying via your website, or local?

    My grass isn't dead, and I might use it on the entire lawn. My grass just doesn't seem to be coming in too great in some spots, but it's early. My lot is about a 1/2 acre, but I've probably only got about 1/4 acre of lawn. The rest is wetlands.

    Are the tines on your product plastic or metal?

    Do those drills that you rent have to be pulled or do they make a push drill? If you can rent a push drill, that seems like it would be a lot of work. I don't have a lawn tractor.

    Thanks for the input. This site is great. I picked up a mower, blower and trimmer based primarily on info obtained from this site.
  4. GrassStitcher

    GrassStitcher LawnSite Member
    Posts: 124

    We sell the single (10" wide) for $99.99 and the double (20" wide) for $149.99

    The slice seeders are self propelled with an engine mounted.
  5. stslimited84

    stslimited84 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    so back on point, is the consensus I have a thatch problem or is it good to go and I should start with fert?

    saw mixed view points so im unsure where to go. Also, any recommendations on specific ferts such as Lesco x-x-x etc?

    thank you!
  6. BTC

    BTC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 150

    Did you buy one of the Earthway broadcast spreaders?
  7. stslimited84

    stslimited84 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    I haven't yet, but I plan on buying one of the two i linked...more than likely the more expensive one just to have peace of mind knowing i have a solid piece of equipment...hopefully a once and done kinda deal.

    The consensus seems mixed on whether i have a thatch problem. Once the guys can clarify for me one way or the other I'm ready to get started. Based on what I saw i think the thatch is within the limits Clay specified earlier on but I'm waiting to see what he says.

    I need a specific product recommendation for fertilizer and pre-emergent products to use if thats the route i need to start on, whether it is Lesco or otherwise, b/c there are so many out there its quite confusing. This is all new to me and I'm trying to go down the right path the first time.

    Also, its obviously not time yet, but I need some direction on the proper type of seed to use.

    I'm off the next couple of days so if I get some answers relatively quickly I could be putting down fert as early as tomorrow :)
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
  8. BTC

    BTC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 150

  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    Does the green blades then turn a dark green color,,, or , does the removal of the brown color, increase the green?
    These optical illusions do nothing for the health and well being of the plant... it is simply extra work that makes people say:
    "Oh my, that lawn looks so nice right now, when all the others are still 'brownish'... " :)
  10. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    Anyone in this thread that has stated you have a thatch problem with the information and pics you have presented is clueless. If you want to determine if you have a thatch problem, then take a bunch of core samples and look. If you want, you can take pics of these cores and post them here.

    While you are taking cores to determine if you have a thatch problem, might as well collect some soil samples to send into a lab. At least then you know what you need for a fertilizer and you won't be subjected to the ridiculous shotgun in the dark recommendations that are so prevalent on this site.

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