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28000 sq ft of lawn to renovate...Help!

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by Blade Runners, Apr 26, 2013.

  1. Blade Runners

    Blade Runners LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,021

    I'm planning to renovate or completely re-establish my lawn which is roughly 28000 sq ft. It has never been seeded with anything as far as I know so I have no idea what is currently growing. I know I need to get a soil test before anything, then apply ammendments as recommended by the test. For the area I am in, fescue is recommended by the univ. extension and the renovation will be done mid/late Aug-mid Sept timeframe.

    What is the best way to approach this? 28k is alot of ground to cover so I am thinking a partial renovation by mowing existing grass low, power raking, bagging, aeration, then slit seeding, starter fert and maybe top dressing. I can rent any equipment needed and will have 3 people to help. I also own a 36" Ryan Aerator.

    Any tips or information would be greatly appreciated.
  2. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,539

    Your definitely in fescue country, 15% KBG in that seed mix would be a good idea. You need to use the best seed possible -


    But the most important thing you can control is the planting date, and for your location, Sept. 1 is the date. If you plant now, you will lose 75% of that grass in the heat of summer, the root system just won't be there.
  3. Blade Runners

    Blade Runners LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,021

    Gotcha on the date and the NTEP data. That is actually the first thing I looked at. Will probably go with Bullseye, Faith, or LS 1200 based on NTEP results for TN/KY area. Also have a good seed supplier 45 min from the house.

    The part I am really unsure of is whether to do a full renovation (killing off, tilling, or sod cutting existing lawn) or partial like I described above. I am also doing this for experience as I would like to offer it as a service later on.
  4. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,539

    I would kill off everything and start with all new, but you are at the mercy of the weather. It might work out great or there might be a heat wave with no rain, i'm assuming there is no irrigation. And you don't need to cut sod or till either, but you do need to cover the seed lightly initially and protect the seedling's for a few week's and dead grass would be perfect for that. Is there a farmer with a big sprayer you could hire close to you? You can spray 2% roundup and seed 1 week later. If you can do it like this, then plant fescue at 6 Lbs. per 1000 sq. ft. If you interseed into the existing grass, seed at 3 Lbs. per 1000.
  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Obviously if you mow low, dethatch, and remove all the OM that you have there now you are wasting a valuable resource... Knowing what your soil texture and tilth is all about,,,, will tell you more than a soil test... grass is not a recipe of exacting balances of nutrients, but does do well,,, or not,,, depending on the 'type of soil' and and structure based on OM...

    If the rootzone is growing in relatively loose(non-compacted) soil with a decent air/moisture ratio and the N is getting into the soil with decent infiltration/perculation carry it down, then there is no reason to till...

    Once you discover the physical characteristics of your soil , then you may decide what should be done... How it handles water IS your number 1 concern,,, becuz all correct balance of NPK is useless and unusable w/out the proper air/moisture ratio...

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