Help with grass seed

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by whitenack, Feb 27, 2007.

  1. whitenack

    whitenack LawnSite Member
    Messages: 78

    Hi guys,

    I bought a house a year ago and cut down a huge blue spruce in the front yard, which left a huge, round bare spot. The rest of the yard isn't in great shape; due either to abuse (mowing too short, never watering, etc.) or to the wrong ingredients (poor soil, no fert., wrong type of grass, etc.). I am ready to work on getting things right.

    At the very least, I want to sow seed on the bare spot left by the spruce. At the most, it could be a complete "do-over" for the whole front yard.

    I just did some soil samples, and plan to have them analyzed to see if it a problem with the soil.

    In the meantime, tell me what I need to know about grass. I have done some research, but it is hard to tell what is truth and what is hype.

    Kentucky's Dept. of Ag put out an article discussing the types, but I'd like to get some other discussion.

    In the article, it says not to mix KY Bluegrass with Tall Fescue. However, I see other websites recommend this mixture, and I see retailers offering seed with this mixture. Who is right?

    What do I need?

    This is going on a south facing lawn, with some foot traffic in full sun. I want something that will stay green all year round. We live in central Kentucky. I would prefer something that doesn't need much fertilizer. Not because I'm lazy, but from an environmental standpoint. Would also like something that is drought resistent. We have hot, humid, rain-scarce summers in KY, and I need something that can hold up to that. Not interested in burmuda, or other hot weather grasses, unless there is some new one out that stays green during cold weather.

    Should I just sow in the bare spot, or should I tackle the whole yard? I guess that depends if I find out that it just needs fertilizer?

    Now, once I have the soil results, and a seed picked out, what do I do? Scalp the existing grass, add whatever is needed to the soil and seed? Should I till it all up?

  2. carcrz

    carcrz LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,085

    It sounds like you should be looking at the Fescue. It is the hardiest of the grasses in your area for drought conditions. The plus about using a KY-bluegrass is that it will spread to fill in the bare areas that the Fescue may have missed.

    On the area that the Spruce was, you will probably need to put down some good topsoil so that the nutrients will be there for good seed germination. Make sure to clean off the old dead stuff first.
  3. whitenack

    whitenack LawnSite Member
    Messages: 78

    I am told that the soil test will take 2 weeks or more. By that time it will be near the end of the sowing window.

    Should I go ahead and sow seed now, and then add anything that is needed once the soil test comes back?
  4. DiyDave

    DiyDave LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,695

    :laughing: I'd second the notion of using fescue seed-get t small bag of a 3 variety blend such as lesco transition blend and rake it in good. You can apply lime anytime of the year, but you should consider a little starter fertilizer-It'll make the seed pop a little sooner.:waving:

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