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New backyard lawn has failed. What to do? A lot of pictures

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by erobinson32, Jul 25, 2010.

  1. erobinson32

    erobinson32 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 16

    I'll start this by saying that I'm a new homeowner, and other than reading about a 1000 posts on this website in that past week, I have no previous lawn care experience other than mowing my parent's "lawn" when I was a kid.

    My house is in western North Carolina near Asheville. Moved into a new house in the middle of April. Backyard was crazy, couldn't even push a mower over it because it was so bumpy. It had nothing but weeds and crabgrass. So, I hired a landscaper to come out to till, grade and hydroseed. The front yard was mow-able, but in poor shape as well. He overseeded the front yard. This work was done in late April. (which I now know was about the worst time to do this work)

    Backyard 1 (pre-work):

    Backyard 2 (pre-work):

    Frontyard 1 (pre-work)

    In progress:

    Backyard 3 (after tilling, grading, hydroseed)

    So, 3 months+ later and the back yard is now about 75% crabgrass (nutsedge I think) and the rest is tall fescue. There are still very thin parts where there is not much of anything. The front has thickened, but still a ways away from what I want.

    I'm trying to get my calendar worked out for the rest of the year with regards to lawn work.

    When is the best time for me to try and kill the crabgrass? What products do you recommend? Sedgehammer for the sedge?

    I am also wondering when the best time to overseed is going to be. I shouldn't need to aerate because of the recent tilling, right?

    Front as of a week or so ago:

    Back a couple weeks ago.
  2. ajslands

    ajslands LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,239

    Last edited: Jul 25, 2010
  3. bigslick7878

    bigslick7878 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 809

    Closer up pics are needed. Can't tell what is what from that far back. No way it looks like 75% from these pics. Get the camera about 3-4 feet away and point down.

    Who hydro seeded??? It looks pretty thin and the coverage looks terrible unless it was how the photo was taken. The entire surface should be blue. I see maybe 40% covered.

    Also was there massive grade issues in the backyard?? The grass that was there could have been worked with especially looking at "backyard pic prework". If the grade was fine there was no reason to bulldoze everything and start from scratch.
  4. erobinson32

    erobinson32 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 16

    I was thinking the same about the color after he finished the hydroseed, but really didn't know what I was talking about at that point.

    There were more issues in the backyard than the pictures really show. I used the line trimmer on the whole backyard once because it was above my knees when we moved in. I then tried to use a push mower, and it was impossible due to it being so bumpy. Mower would ground out on the mounds, then leave grass 8 inches long in the 'holes.' Not to mention there were lots of building materials let behind that he was able to get up while grading. (2x4's, bricks, concrete blocks, etc.)

    I'll take up close pictures in the morning when the sun comes up. It'd definitely not even close to the same type of grass that in the front yard. And it stays wet all day, and grows faster than anything I've seen. Mowing once per week and am barely keeping up in the back yard.
  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    I saw the nutsedge, in your, before picture. That is an example of : when tilling, be sure all those types of weeds are dead, before moving forward.

    So what type of grass, were you supposed to have? From the hydroseed?
  6. erobinson32

    erobinson32 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 16

    Was supposed to have tall fescue. Here are two closer up pics. The second is what is all over my backyard if I wait a full week to mow.


  7. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Posts: 2,160

    There is a product called "Drive" if you can find it. It will get rid of the Crabgrass. It's a little "Iffy" in the heat but if you have good irrigation, you shouldn't have a problem. The problem is the application (getting an even through coverage). I would check for a PRO in your area to do this for you. Could be expensive, but Crabgrass is an annual that sprouts from seeds the previous year. If you get it now and apply your pre-em (multiple applications every 60 days) in the spring, it should be under control.
    Where do you live? I'm over in Kingsport and come through Asheville quite frequently and would be glad to look at the lawn.
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    I recognize the CG, is there any tall fescue at all? I think it is time to start over. Keep everything dead, until planting time.
  9. erobinson32

    erobinson32 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 16

    Ok, getting a bit of conflicting advice, but that's ok. So, can anyone help me with estimates on the best time to do these next tasks?

    Possibly kill the backyard?
    etc. ?
  10. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    Up here we seed in the late summer early fall. The new grass needs time to establish b4 winter. When I was in NC, it was only winter for 3 days, out of 3 years, so I'm not sure of your best timing.

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