getting new lawn started in Charlotte

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by apologeticus, Apr 8, 2008.

  1. apologeticus

    apologeticus LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

    I bought a new home (new construction) last October. The builder seeded the back yard, then put down straw. By that point, the watering restrictions had gone into effect due to the drought, so we had no rain and couldn't water.

    After we moved in, I foolishly took the advice of my builder who said that if I seeded the lawn again I could get more grass growth. So I raked up the straw, seeded and fertilized, then put the straw down again. Eventually my straw blew away (or the kids and dog played with it till it blew away) and now I have a backyard full of mostly weeds and not much actual grass growth.

    My neighbor's yard has decent growth and very few weeds.

    The county just eased watering restrictions a bit, allowing us to water lawns once a week. What should I do at this point? (I can post a pic of the backyard if anyone thinks it will help). Thanks!
     
  2. IN2MOWN

    IN2MOWN LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,993

    Is your backyard on a slope or hill? Why the straw?

    Straw IMO retards the growth of seed by not allowing sunlight in there. It also soaks up some of the water.

    Post a picture but it might be time to start over and if you can only water once a week you might want to think about sod...
     
  3. apologeticus

    apologeticus LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

    Back yard (or the part of it I have fenced) is pretty level. Not sure on why they did the straw, but they did it on every yard. Worked out pretty well for my neighbor, though.

    Here are a couple of pics of what I'm dealing with

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. IN2MOWN

    IN2MOWN LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,993

    Its not that bad. If you want get a soil test first. Take a sample down to your local extension office and have them do it.

    If you want to jump into it then I would rent a verticutter and go over it a couple times in different directions. I would seed at the rate of 8 Lbs per 1000 sq feet. After you seed verticutt again and then seed a little lighter.

    Then apply a slow release nitrogen starter fert.

    The problem you will have is you need to water 3 or so times a day. The ground has to be kept wet for at least 2-3 weeks.

    If you cant water that much dont bother doing it. It will be a waste of a few hundred dollars.
     
  5. apologeticus

    apologeticus LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

    yeah, I definitely can't do that. I can only water once a week.
     
  6. IN2MOWN

    IN2MOWN LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,993

    Then if I was you I would think about doing some landscaping in the back to take away some of the turf and then sod the rest. The less grass the better in your case.
     
  7. apologeticus

    apologeticus LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

    If I decide to seed as you suggest and pray for rain, wouldn't I still need to do something to kill all the weeds first?
     
  8. apologeticus

    apologeticus LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

    The builder is supposed to sod the front yard very soon. I'm trying to find out the name of the service they use to do this and find out how much they'd charge me to sod the back yard too while they're at it. It's only about 700 sq ft back there after you subtract out the concrete patio.
     
  9. IN2MOWN

    IN2MOWN LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,993

    That looks like mostly grass to me. If you want to do a total renovation then kill it off with round up and start fresh.
     
  10. apologeticus

    apologeticus LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

    Oh no, I think I did something really stupid. A few weeks ago I put down some "Scott's Turf Builder with crabgrass preventer" to try to encourage what little growth I had and to prevent crabgrass. Now that I see that I probably shouldn't have used the pre-emergent. Did I just totally blow my chances at seeding or sodding for a while??
     

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