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Is my yard ready for topsoil and seed?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by forereal, May 27, 2008.

  1. forereal

    forereal LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    I've been trying to kill all the weeds in my yard and cleaning it up so I can add topsoil and plant grass seeds. However, there are still spots around the yard where there is dead grass/weeds. Will this be ok for me to add the topsoil and grass or will these dead weeds/grass grow back after I start watering?

    Picture 052.jpg
  2. k911lowe

    k911lowe LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 526

    what kind of seed you gonna put in.
  3. ericlemson

    ericlemson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 173

    Looks dead to me. you might want to rake up the remaining dead grass and smoth it out a bit.
  4. forereal

    forereal LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    Haven't decided yet. Will the type make a difference?
  5. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,778

    How much topsoil are you going to add? The type of seed does make a difference depending on location and the amount of sunlight per day the new lawn will get. That area appears to be small by the pictures...have you thought about using sod? Sod is a quick way to have an instant lawn.
  6. forereal

    forereal LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    Well the actual yard is about twice the size of the picture. And the other half of the yard slopes into the house so I was going to add the topsoil to flatten it/slightly slope away from the house.

    As for sod, I did think about it but i'm trying to save the cost so I decided on doing seed. I don't mind spending the extra time and work to make the seed grow.

    And as for the seed, I been researching a ton but can't seem to figure out what seed would be good for me. Any recommendations? I live in the San Jose area or Northern California, would like a grass that is low maintenance, doesn't require a lot of water, durable for dogs and thick.
  7. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,778

    Well I wont say you cant get a good stand of grass with seed, but I will tell you even though you may save money using seed, you may end up paying what you would installing sod in the additional labor and aggravation of trying to get a good healthy stand of grass to grow. I am not familiar with the climate in California but it looks like a cool season grass is what is planted there. Take a look at this website http://www.lawngrasses.com/ I am in no way affiliated with this site, it was just one of the first links that came up and it appears to have a wide selection of grasses. You may also want to contact your local Cooperative Extension Service to see what they suggest for your area.

    I have tried grass seeding with minimal success, but some of my best success came with the use of a slice seeder which you can rent at your local rental company. Its tough here to get anything to start from seed and keep it alive due to watering restrictions but this may not be a problem in your area.

    With this in mind prep once, place sod and you have an instant lawn that only requires water and fert...plant seed and it could be washed away, birds eat it, it may not germinate you will likely have to over seed as there will likely be patches that are bare or missed. You mention dogs, dogs will be tracking mud and dirt into your home and with sod this will be minimal.

    It all comes down to how much time and money you have. Last year I gave up on seeding and put down sod. I had even had it hydro seeded twice. After 3 years of crabgrass, high water bills and spotty coverage I gave up. I would have been money and time ahead had I just put down sod in the first place. If the seeds do not sprout or you get spotty coverage due to heavy rains and all of your grading and leveling work is washed away...what will you be doing next year?

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