Advice on lawn renovation

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by JV6565, Oct 16, 2017.

  1. JV6565

    JV6565 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 34

    hello all,
    I need of some help and advice on a lawn renovation project. I'll aplolgize in advance if this gets lengthy.

    Some background on the property(5 acres). I recently purchased the property/house and moved in less than a month ago. Prior to that, the house sat empty for about two years and the yard was not cared for. It was then bought and the house was completely renovated from top to bottom. While during the house renovation part, the yard was maybe mowed a handful of times. Since moving in I've mowed 3 times already.

    The contractor killed off the entire front yard and part of the back yard, used a power rake, and then seeded what what I believe is a form of rye grass. This was done when no one was living here to water it and when the temps were in the high 80's. Naturally the weeds took over.

    I tilled and reseeded a 60ftx100ft portion of the front yard and a 30x100 portion of the back yard about three weeks ago with tall fescue and it is coming in nicely.

    I think my main focus will be from the house to the road and work my way back as there is no way I can do everything at once.

    1)There are some pretty rough parts of the lawn. Bout just ugly and filled with weeds, be rough and bumpy. To help smooth it out and not beat me or my z915 to death, Should I top dress these with compost, top soil or clean screen fill dirt?

    2)should I kill off and re seed the rest of the front yard by the house come spring/next fall?

    3) what should I be using for pre and post emergent weed control? There is a lot of what I believe to be yellow foxtail weed in the lawn and I'd like to get rid of that!

    I'lll attach pictures of the yard around the house. Any and all help is appreciated!
  2. JV6565

    JV6565 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 34

    IMG_3106.JPG IMG_3108.JPG IMG_3109.JPG IMG_3112.JPG IMG_3114.JPG IMG_3117.JPG
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
  3. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,087

    You need professional help. LOL, JV!
    If you cannot hire a pro right now--and if you have equipment or the ability to rent same. Apply weed control. Top dressing would take too much soil and labor. A ton per thousand sqft is typical--even half as much is a huge job to spread.
    I suggest, once you get the grass thick and the clumpy weedy grass out--you should be fine. Crabgrass and foxtail should die at frost--then apply a pre-emergent about a week or two before the first mowing in the spring. Plenty of fertilizer and water should cause your present grass to thicken up--it will be smoother. Naturally, you probably want to apply a good broadleaf weed killer to eliminate most of the weeds. Apply broadleaf killer again about May and September next year.
    If the lawn is really thin in spots--seed can be sown--8 weeks before frost is best--but even if sown late it should still germinate--if not this fall--then in spring. Use quality seed suited for your climate and conditions. Include starter fertilizer.
    Do not try to seed in the spring as the crabgrass pre-emergent would probably kill the seed.

    If the lumpiness is caused by the soil and not clumpy grass--you might be able to power-rake it. This will usually cut off the bumps. Or--better--roll it to smooth out the bumps--this must be done when the soil is wet and soft.
  4. JV6565

    JV6565 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 34

    I know i probably need a professional but i havent been able to work on my own yard in 8 years and enjoy being outside. Plus I cant even imagine what it would cost. Probably more than I want to spend haha. Although if you are a pro at it you can come on down, I'm not that far away in NW Ohio haha!

    Any suggestions for pre emergent and post emergent/broadleaf weed control?

    I agree with thickening the existing grass up and getting rid of some of the weeds should help smooth things up some.

    There are some low areas though which is why I was considering top dressing. I wouldn't do the whole yard just the low areas. I planned to flag them during my next mow.

    I think it's getting to late in the year for any more seed to be planted. We are starting to get down into the 40's during the night here. But the seed that was planted the 3rd week of September seems to be doing well .
  5. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,087

    Retired now. True--fix the low areas so the drainage is adequate. Actually, its never too late to plant seed. Seed planted late just comes up rather slowly. Moisture is not a problem. Grass might be a quarter-inch tall by the time snow falls. Snow will not hurt it. Grass knows what to do. Feed it again in spring, when it attains a height of about an inch. This has two advantages--moisture will not be a problem. Fall seed will not be killed by your spring crabgrass control.

    Ortho weed control is fine, should be effective. Scotts crabgrass control is fine and I trust Scotts quality--costs more--and worth it.
    Shop at a garden store--clerks at big box stores are untrained, or lightly trained.
  6. JV6565

    JV6565 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 34

    I'll start slowing addressing the low areas this fall by doing some top dressing in areas.

    Anything I should be doing the fall yet? Aerator and over seed? Fertilizer? or weed control?

    Ill give it a shot continuing to tackle the problems on my own and see where it gets me. I am by no means after a show case lawn, just something that looks better than what I got haha. Maybe I'll all around and get some professional estimates in case what I do doesn't work out to well.
  7. Dandan111

    Dandan111 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 239

    5 acres I wouldn't mess around. I'd have a tractor with a heavy disc go over it then start dragging it. Seed it all.
  8. JV6565

    JV6565 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 34

    That's my last resort. But I am hoping it doesn't come down to that.
  9. Dandan111

    Dandan111 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 239

    Treating it like a field I think is your best bang for the buck. Do you plan to fertilize and treat all 5 acres? If not I'd think about maybe two types of lawn. Maybe a fine blade grass for around the home and k31fescue for the field. K31 will do good without fertilizer.
  10. JV6565

    JV6565 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 34

    As of right now I do not plan to treat all 5 acres. I would like to treat from the front end of the pond to the road. If I had to guess that would be around 2 acres maybe a tad more.

    The best that I can tell is the yard is a mix of different types of grass and of course weeds. There are some clusters of k31, looks like where trees were at one time.

    The front yard where re contractor killed off the grass abs attempted to Harley rake and re seed is by far in the worst shape. Which I redid a small portion of with tall fescue which is coming in alright.

    We are suppose to get hebdirst fost here in northern Ohio this week so we will see what it does for the weeds. I think my main focus will be on the front yard. Which I can post better pictures of if needed

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