GRASS GUYS!!! i could use a little help here

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Dirt Digger2, Apr 18, 2007.

  1. Dirt Digger2

    Dirt Digger2 LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,396

    Guys I need some help with planting season on its way. Last year I completely roto-tilled the yard and replanted and it looked GREAT for three quarters of the summer. Then it started getting patchy. Half the problem is the backyard has a lot of shade and not great topsoil. The front yard I don’t know what’s going on. We had grub problems the year before I roto-tilled it and didn’t notice them that much last year. I fertilize, weed and feed, mow weekly, etc…the grass that is there looks great but its patchy. I need advice because I’m not that great with grass…any ideas that won’t require me to roto-till the yard up and lay more topsoil in?...I don’t want another dirt yard this spring with the dog tracking it in the house…thanks in advance…I’m looking at “zoidzia grass plugs” or whatever they’re called…I don’t know whether they work or not.
     
  2. mini14

    mini14 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 236

    give it some time to come back, hit it in june with insecticide...u could allways overseed with a slit seeder...use fescue for shady areas and rye for sunny...takes little efffort to use a slit seeder, its a lawncomber with a seed bin in the front, that drops seed as u comb the lawn. rental places havem, leave all the debris on the lawn, as the seed germinates it will dissappear.
     
  3. Dirt Digger2

    Dirt Digger2 LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,396

    i was thinking about grain drilling it in there...you know i can get a hay field to grow good but i cant do the same for my friggin yard...its a bit frustrating
     
  4. Gmgbo

    Gmgbo LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 382

    Do a soil test and ph test. If the ph is off the lawn will not use the fertilizer you give it. I would start this year with a Pre-m and then overseed this fall to thicken it up. Its hard to tell without pictures but its not worth it to fight the weeds in spring.
     
  5. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Posts: 2,176

    Dirtdigger: I know what you're saying....Several years ago I had a yard that just didn't want to do anything. So I took a harrow to it like a field and put down new seed in November and by spring it had settled down and is probably the prettiest yards that I have. Do the soil test--you may find that you need lime up there. Sow Rebel III fescue and some bluegrass. Rebel III is great for sun or shade. Keep it watered and add a little extra potash. 15-0-15 would be a good start on the fertlize as you're not producing any blooms and do not need any phophorus. Hit it with a little iron about end of May or so and let's see. On those bare spots--scratch up the ground with a rake, put down your seed and cover it with some spagnum peat moss and keep it watered but not deeply. As the roots get going slow down on the light watering and begiin a more deep watering schedule...Usually most grasses like about an 1" a week deeply. On the sproting side maybe 3 light watering/day. Watch the weather and do not water if any freeze are in the forecast. I'd wait until end of May to plant up there to make sure any late frost have gone by, but you know your region better than us. Good luck.
     
  6. Dirt Digger2

    Dirt Digger2 LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,396

    heres a picture of the backyard, i'll have to get one of the front yard when it starts growing a little...my problem is the grass thats behind me when i took this picture, we have 3 huge pine trees cutting out all light that can get in there

    backyard.jpg
     
  7. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Posts: 2,176

    You might overdress those spots, sow with your grass seed + annual rye which will die out when it gets hot. By then you other grass will germinating. Hit it with a little potassium. Should wait until everything is going well to add your maintainence fertilizer. It will eventually fill in. The overdressing of topsoil will give those growing sideways roots. The rye will help retain moisture and shade for the other seed. Maybe--that a long way from TN. What works for us may not work for y'all.
     
  8. Turf Troll

    Turf Troll LawnSite Member
    Posts: 227

    I am in southern chester county, if you break the crust and seed or break the crust topdress the bare spots with some mushroom compost and seed, rent a seeder slicer. If you haven't limed in three years you can easily use 20 lbs per 1000 sq ft.

    What I would do is drag with a tine harrow spread some soil, seed, lime in mid to end of may before rain.
     
  9. Gmgbo

    Gmgbo LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 382

    I would put down pre m now so weeds dont take those bare spots over, then scratch it up and overseed in fall. I dont know about there, but in CT I have had no luck at all trying to seed in spring.
     

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