lawn seeding/fertilizer basics

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by peacefrogx, May 10, 2005.

  1. peacefrogx

    peacefrogx LawnSite Member
    from ny
    Messages: 3

    We moved into a brand new home last June. As with typical new developments, the soil is mostly clay. After unsuccessfully trying to seed and stabilize the lawn last summer, I brought in the builders landscaper to due some of the landscaping (not bad) and re-establish the lawn (terrible.) We also had some drainage issues (that were exasperated by the clay base) that the landscaper tried to take care of in the Fall but to no avail.

    So the landscaper came back again and 3 weeks ago (mid April) he laid down some fresh topsoil along with regrading some of the areas where we had the drainage issues. After regrading and topsoil, he rough-raked most of the yard again (still 90% clay base) and reseeded, using a typical contractor's mix. Surprisingly, the lawn has come up in about 95% of the yard and has actually reached the point where it can be mowed (it's about 4-5" high). We've had a great growing Spring up here in the NE.

    My question is this: At what point would you recommend that I put down a fertilizer for the yard and what fertilizer would you recommend. I have also read on this board about tilling the clay with peat to break it down. Can that be done now in some of the problem areas? I have missed the 1st opportunity to put down the first fertilizer application, which is supposed to be done early in the Spring, as I had to wait on the drainage/grading issues to be resolved, but now that I have a fragile-at-best new lawn, what can be used so as not to shock it?
    Joe in NY
  2. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,697

    fertilize according to a soil test.
  3. KathysLGC

    KathysLGC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,345

    I would have tilled it adding a top soil/compost mix. No peat. Since your lawn is getting established already i would bring a soil sample to a local nursery and have them send it out to be tested. When it comes back, go over it with them so they can instruct you on what it needs. To help your soil out you could aerate in the fall and top dress any time.

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