grass seed - what to get

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by CTD_Crazed, Apr 7, 2013.

  1. CTD_Crazed

    CTD_Crazed LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    ok well today i went and bought 20 lbs of Scotts "Midwest Mix" grass seed and began to seed my back yard. Heres some pics, but first, i found out theres a LOT of small to 2-3" dia. rock in my yard and the soil seems REALLY compacted on top. it took quite a bit of pressure with a garden rake to break up the top layer of soil. Wondering if i should maybe go a different route for the rest of the back yard? Anyway, heres some pictures. Seed was spread with a Scotts handheld spreader, at scotts specs, spreader set on 5 (wide open) and went over yard 4x per instructions. Storms and rain forecasted for tomorrow.





  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    If your soil doesn't absorb water very well and you raked over the top to break it up a little bit ,,, you may find those braodcasted seeds will be washed along the surface and collected into puddles...
    When the top of the ground is compactted so hard,,, efforts to loosen it up become imortant... it looks like you could be quite shady where you're positioned in the woods... how much sun do you get in the seeded areas during the day???
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2013
  3. CTD_Crazed

    CTD_Crazed LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    the soil absorbed the water just fine, it just seemed really compacted. We had a lot of rain the past 24 hrs and there was no puddling in the back yard. only pulling was the long strip along side of house next to walkway where the soil has eroded some and created a "waterway"

    i still think possibly renting a self propelled rear tine tiller would help loosen everything else there and make this whole project a LOT faster. but as said before that may be WAY overkill. This is first time ever seeding a lawn so this is all trial and error for me. Just hope my efforts dont get "washed away"
  4. CTD_Crazed

    CTD_Crazed LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    As far as sunlight, id say its a toss up between "sun and shade" and "mostly shady" There is a road that ends just to the South of my seed bed that will allow sunlight in and only a couple trees between my driveway and the seeded area. Obviously the sunlight will be a lot different than now once the trees leaf out and i get a better idea of sunlight.
  5. CTD_Crazed

    CTD_Crazed LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    well, after almost 3 weeks since planting....i have absolutely 0 blades of grass growing. glad i only did one spot. not sure what caused the failure, too cold of temperatures? not enough watering? to much watering? too compacted of ground? soil make-up is bad? me just being an idiot on growing grass?

    kinda frustrating really, i alway thought growing grass was an easy "idiot proof" thing to doo. only thing showing green back there is a vrey few weeds.
  6. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,530

    Where is your straw? You should put straw down.
    How many sq ft do you have?
    Did you till in fertilizer before you seeded ?
  7. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,545

    No, growing grass isn't easy, but there are a few thing's you can do to make it easier.

    1 - Plant the right grass. Midwest mix has only 45% ryegrass, you need straight ryegrass.

    2 - Plant the seed at the right rate. For you that's 8 Lbs. of ryegrass seed per 1000 sq. ft. That 20 Lb. bag wasn't enough.

    3 - Plant the seed properly. Ryegrass seed need's to be covered with soil lightly, barring that, cover the seed with straw.

    4 - You must water the seed daily to keep the soil moist. You can't get around that.

    5 - Your not going to get any germination as cold as your soil's are.
    You want to see soil temperature's of 55-60* for ryegrass.

    6 - Don't expect good result's from spring seeding, for you Aug 15th is prime seeding time for grass.

    7 - Improve the shade problem, it will make a big difference.
  8. CTD_Crazed

    CTD_Crazed LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    i was told somewhere on here that tilling wasnt necessary but i believe now it may be to loosen soil.

    agrostis, thanks for all the info, way more info than i was given earlier.
  9. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,530

    I wouldn't use the Rye Grass at all
    I would use a creeping red fescue/bluegrass/turf fescue mix You not far from me I do this all time
    Agrostis is from NC.

    Step one till ground to depth of 4-6''
    Step 2 grade your lawn
    Step 3 add Fertilizer and lime
    step 4 light till seed run a lawn roller
    step 5 blow straw or shake thin layer
  10. CTD_Crazed

    CTD_Crazed LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    ok well to my surprise, even after 10" of snow on Thurs and Fri i went to my house today and saw this where i had planted the seed.....

    apparently my failure resulted in at least "partial" success vs total failure!





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