I need a total lawn make over. Where to start

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Black95gt, Aug 5, 2007.

  1. Black95gt

    Black95gt LawnSite Member
    Messages: 56

    Ok, last August we bought our home and most of the yard is a thick bladed grass. I think it is a fescue of some sort. I do not like it at all and want a nice thin blade, Bright green Bluegrass lawn. It does have some bluegrass in it, but seems to be overtaken by the thick bladed grass. What is the best way to get this? The soil is a hard gumbo.

    I am thinking of power raking and then aerating (if it will get a decent plug) and possibly putting sand or something down to try to get the ground softer for better root penetration. If this is not necessary let me know.

    Then I need already know i need to overseed with bluegrass, but what is the best way to do this? Should i put round-up down and kill it all off first? We have dogs so i do need to have a lawn this winter so their not tracking in mud. Let me know what i should do.

    BTW Im in Northeast Nebraska

  2. LawnSolutionsCP

    LawnSolutionsCP Sponsor
    Messages: 907


    If you looking for the beautiful lawn you describe....the only way to get there is to start over. It may seem like a lot, but its very easy to do. You can have that new lawn in as little as 2-3 weeks.

    1st - spray the entire lawn with Roundup (glyphosate) to kill everything. Wait 1 week and look for any areas you missed and spray again.

    2nd - after it is all dead (crunchy), rent a good power seeder and run over the lawn in 2-3 direction. If the ground is rough, make sure you get a 8hp or larger machine in order to cut grooves in the ground 1/2" - 1" deep which will help level out the rough areas.

    3rd - use a compact tiller or rake to rough up the ground in all the tight areas you couldn't get with the seeder.

    4th - use a blower to blow the extra grass seed, dirt, and thatch back into the lawn. Blow just hard enough to get it off the sidewalk and drive-way. This will ensure you get a good stand of grass along all the hard surfaces.

    5th - The hardest part is watering. Keep the ground moist, not staturated for the first 5-7 days. After the grass germinates, water every 1-2 days until the grass is 2" tall. Then, water as needed for the next 12 months until it is fully established.

    You should have a nice stand of grass in just 2-3 weeks from the day you reseed the lawn.

    Do NOT till the ground. This leads to mud and often failure. It is much easier and you will get better results if you only kill and reseed.

  3. dKoester

    dKoester LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,327

    Use Titan Fescue, it spreads by rhizomes. Great quality of grass. Whatever grass seed you use make sure it is a certified turfgrass.
  4. Black95gt

    Black95gt LawnSite Member
    Messages: 56

    Thanks Lawnsolutions. This is what i needed to know. My lawn is probably 3,500 SF. My dad has a pull behind sprayer for the riding mower to apply the roundup so i would just have to buy the roundup. Then buy the seed and rent the seeding machine. What would i be looking at for cost doing it myself? Do i need to cover it with a mulching mat or anything? When applying the roundup, do I need to worry about getting it on my landscaping beds or on the trees? I would also assume that this is the perfect time to do this being the second week in August, should be able to have seed down by the end.
  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I would spend some time ammending at least a portion of the 3500 sqft. That way you can tell the difference on performance. good luck.
  6. Black95gt

    Black95gt LawnSite Member
    Messages: 56

    dont you need to wait like a year after applying round-up?
  7. bahamamills

    bahamamills LawnSite Member
    Messages: 187

    No need to wait after spraying round-up but it may be a bit early to think about reseeding now. Around here with the current heat we are not touching anything until 3rd week Sept into Oct.
  8. LawnSolutionsCP

    LawnSolutionsCP Sponsor
    Messages: 907

    He is correct, you can spray round up and seed the same day. I would wait 48 hrs after spraying just to allow time for the weed / grass to absorbe the herbicide before seeding assuming you are only doing a spot treatement.

    If spraying everything, let it fully die off. It is easier to work the ground once the vegitation is fully dead.

    If you have any bermuda you are trying to kill, start spraying now and repeat application every week for 3 weeks. Otherwise it will come back. It may come back anyway over time, but this is the best method. I know people who actually fertilize and water the bermuda before spraying so it will die quicker. Bermuda is very difficult to kill off.

    I would seed the 2nd or 3rd week of Sept.
  9. RLembke

    RLembke LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    David -

    Would you recommend this same kind of renovation for a lawn like this?


    I'm unsure whether I need to remove this heavy layer of thatch prior to power seeding (I can rent one of your units locally).

  10. BeautifulBlooms

    BeautifulBlooms LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 613

    Might want to be careful using roundup in a sprayer that is used for other things, make sure you get it totally cleaned out thoroughly or you will forever have roundup residue to kill desirable plant material

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