Lawn is in poor shape...

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by SlimJim Z71, Feb 4, 2001.

  1. SlimJim Z71

    SlimJim Z71 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 691

    My wife and I bought our first house about a year-and-a-halfd ago. The lawn looked horrible when we first moved in. After a few fertilizer treatments (Scotts Turfbuilder w/Insect Control, Weed Control) it looks better. But... I seems like there are a bunch of bare spots that just will not grow grass (no, not under trees), and I also seem to have several different types of grass. One of which looks like crabgrass, but it's not. Is there a way I can even all of this out without tilling my whole lawn, and starting over? I am planning on aerating this spring, but I don't really want all the cores laying all over my yard. Can I just use those "tine" ones that just kind of stab the ground? Thanks for the help guys!

    -Tim
     
  2. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,074


    Tim,

    You did not mention how large your yard is, but in all honesty, this answer is not what you probably want to hear. It is to till the whole yard up and then reseed.


    We were in the same boat with you. Our yard was mess. I mean it was awful. After removing a rotting mullberry tree, we decided that it simply would be easier to start all over, than to try and look for a quick fix.

    We used PennFine grass seed developed by Penn State University which is in our area and it came up beautiful. Last year we got lots of compliments on our yard, and we had great looking grass by the end of May.

    Sometimes the quickest fix isn't all the best.


    Jodi
     
  3. SlimJim Z71

    SlimJim Z71 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 691

    Ughhh.

    That's not good. My lot is pretty small. It's about 50' x 150', with a 900sq.ft. house and a 2-car garage on it. I don't have a whole lot of yard, but it's sufficient. I really didn't want to till up the whole thing and start over, but if that's what's needed, then that's what I'll do. Maybe I'll just do the front to start with, since that's the smaller section.

    Ya think I should try aerating it first?

    -Tim
     
  4. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,354

    You can use the roundup method if you really do each phase
    by the book.Its in there info with purchase. Works
    good but you got to do it right.It also helps spring
    plantings hold out during heat of summer.
     
  5. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,969

    A number of variables to consider to decide the simplest course. Can you post a few pictures? We could make better recommendations then. Tilling is not necessary unless the surface is relatively uneven - pock marked like the roads now :).
     
  6. SlimJim Z71

    SlimJim Z71 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 691

    The surface is relatively uneven, but I was thinking of renting one of those rollers that you fill with water right after all the snow melts. The ground should be soft enough to be able to level it out some. After I do that, I was going to aerate it, then fertilize.

    -Tim
     
  7. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    Sounds like you need to overseed. The cores from aerating go away pretty quickly, and its a lot easier than tilling up the entire lawn. The last thing you should be worrying about is the cores. Overseed with the type of seed that works best in you area. If you talking about some bare spots in your lawn, that is no reason to start over.

    If you have some compost around, mix some seed into it and spread it around the areas and start watering it.
     
  8. SlimJim Z71

    SlimJim Z71 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 691

    Okay, I've heard that saying before... "overseed".

    What does that mean? Or is that what you were talking about, mixing the seed in with compost and watering it?

    Thanks guys for all your help!

    -Tim
     
  9. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,354

    OVER SEEDING IS JUST PLANTING OVER EXISTING GRASS
     
  10. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    All that is need for seed to germinate is contact with the soil. You can spread seed out over soil and it will germinate fairly quickly. When you seed, the most important thing is water. You need to water lightly often. Best is twice a day, but once a day is a must. You contine watering until the plant gets a decent root system. I did this to a 10x10 bare spot under a 35 yr old oak tree in my front yard this past fall. I now have a very thick stand of fescue.

    Total price is about $10.
     

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