Seeding on clay in full all day sun...

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by fullmetalbucket, Jun 14, 2008.

  1. fullmetalbucket

    fullmetalbucket LawnSite Member
    Posts: 75

    Hi everyone, I'm about to seed about 15000sqft at my house and have bought 75kg of blended seed. The soil is hard packed clay so I was going to bring in some topsoil and a few loads of horse manure, then till it all together, seed/fert and roll. NOW, I'm at the point where I just want it DONE! can I lightly till the clay (using skidsteer will tiller attachment) and seed/fert/roll then cover with straw, or should I add some nutrient to the clay first. I dug about a hundred yards out of my backyard to bring up the front yard due to a flooding problem. When this house was built they didn't do anything in the way of landscaping so I'm starting with a clean slate. What's the best fertilizer to use to help seed germinate? Is it necessary or can I manage without the added expense?
    Thanks for all your input!
    Matt

    Here's a few before of the backyard... you can see all the cracked clay and patchy grass. Will grass alone with a thick and healthy root system be enough to keep clay from cracking and opening up like this?

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  2. fullmetalbucket

    fullmetalbucket LawnSite Member
    Posts: 75

    another couple before...

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  3. fullmetalbucket

    fullmetalbucket LawnSite Member
    Posts: 75

    After I dug out the backyard.... still have to do some clean up work and landscape but probably won't get to planting/hardscaping 'till next year. I've gotta do some tile out to a manifold that leads to a swale close to our ditch.

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  4. fullmetalbucket

    fullmetalbucket LawnSite Member
    Posts: 75

    Here's the front of the house, flooding this spring. The county is coming to put in two new culverts and redig our ditch.

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  5. fullmetalbucket

    fullmetalbucket LawnSite Member
    Posts: 75

    Here's the clay I took out of the backyard. Doesn't look like alot but it brought the front up about 18" tapered toI'll be getting maybe another 10 loads brought in before the end of the summer, making the ditch wider and deeper so I won't get washed out next summer. I'm widening the driveway as well out to where the fill begins.

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  6. fullmetalbucket

    fullmetalbucket LawnSite Member
    Posts: 75

    Here's the clay I took out of the backyard. Doesn't look like alot but it brought the front up about 18" tapered to the hill that's our septic weeping bed. I'll be getting maybe another 10 loads brought in before the end of the summer to bring up the rest around the other side of the septic mound, then I'll be able to dig in my swale for drainage down to the ditch. The goal here is to make the ditch wider and deeper so I won't get washed out next summer. I'm widening the driveway as well out to where the fill begins.

    That's what it was supposed to say above but I got distracted before I could correct it.

    I have ordered 55yds of triple mix topsoil to put in the backyard. Any advice for tilling or laying down the grass seed to get the best results. IE what fertilizer to use?
     
  7. redmax fan

    redmax fan LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,228

    just from my experience with a 30 X 100 garden the past decade ive come to always look to add alot of straw to hard soil to slow its compacting rate and also give plant roots open passages (as opposed to hard clay) to grow into , plus add its nutrients .
    if it were me and i could get straw bales cheap ide put a bale per around every 15 X 15 square and till it in before adding the top soil .

    and from growing grass around my 1/2 acre yard every year and small repair jobs at customer houses ive come to like lightly sprinkling the seeded area with straw to keep moisture in the soil longer , plus it then breaks down to further enrich the soil .
     
  8. fullmetalbucket

    fullmetalbucket LawnSite Member
    Posts: 75

    Thanks, I called a farmer friend of mine and he's got about 25 bales of partially rotted straw I can have. I'll till that in with the triple mix in the backyard and get another 25 off him to put over top once I seed. I imagine that helps keep the birds off too?
     
  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,082

    Having actively rotting material in the root zone of newly germinating seed is probably not going to get you much. If you are going to do the work of tilling in straw bring in the horse manure as well. This will help speed the decay process.

    You are likely going to have to wait after tilling in raw, rotting material, anyway. Depending on how pervasive it is in the soil.
     

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