New grass

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Imtheprez, May 19, 2008.

  1. Imtheprez

    Imtheprez LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    I have a lot that is in a new subdivision, and the grass is dead in some areas or not even growing in some either. I want thick dark grass. I live in TN, so should I overseed now or wait til fall? Or just put sod down?
  2. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,008

    fall is better cause of less competition from weeds and such. This gives you time to find out if the soil needs anything and kill off your existing grass. Odds are they just threw down a contractor mix to get the CO now its your problem.
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    What kind of "soil" were you left with after the construction?
    Overseeding on bad ground is not going to improve anything. Spend the summer fixing the soil then reseed in the fall.
  4. Imtheprez

    Imtheprez LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    sorry for the dumb questions but im new to this whole thing....but where should i start? Ill wait til fall before I overseed, but do I need to rake over the yard before seeding? Can you recommend any seed?
  5. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Messages: 2,257

    I live just up from you in Kingsport and in SC. Here's what we do. Firstly, Have you smoothed out the rough grade? If not you may have to hire that done with a tractor and a thing called a "Harley Rake". Then you rake off any and all debris using a large tooth rake. Go by Lowes and look. They have a wide one that I like. Take your time and level any dips. Yard should look smooth and contoured. Now think irrigation. Inground rotors and sprayheads set up on a controller with automatic valves is the only way. Even if you do not use any rotors, I'd lay in some 1" PVC from your water source so that you can at least put some hoses with portable impact sprinklers. Your new grass will need a lot of water.
    After all of that--I like sod--Fescue and Bluegrass mix for us. It will need require constant attention making sure that it does not dry out or it will die. Lay down some starter fertilizer before you sod and make sure you rake it into the finished grade a day or so ahead of the sod day.Sod it quick and instant--Buy good sod from a reputable dealer.
    If you decide to seed: I'd hire it done with a truck with a straw blower and the seed mixed in with it. The truck will put the straw and seed down really well. You can do it by hand but takes a lot of time with a good spreader--I use the Lesco 80# and mix the seed with sand. Then straw it with a good oat straw.
    Water like crazy. If you wait till it's cooler you will not have to water quite so much, then prep your lawn with a layer of organic material or sphagnum peat moss and rake it into you finished grade. Then seed. Now here it is so dry and will require you to water almost every day because when that seed sprouts it sends out a hair root that needs to get moisture that has nutrients in order to survive. If not it will die and so will several other thousand of it's friends. I can't overstress the need to water. In the fall the heat will not dry the top layer of soil so quickly and the layer of sphagnum will help shade and hold the moisture--It ain't rocket science but does warrant understanding of what is happening and why.
    My daughter lives in Powell and I get down occasionally. If you'd like and not too hard to find, I could stop bye and check out the lawn and look at your irrigation plans.
    Hope this will help, It's hard to tell you everything without seeing your particular lawn. Just go slow and methodically and think about your landscaping plants also such as your foundation planting and accent plants and trees, borders, sidewalks, just lots and lots of stuff. What you really need is a landscape plan to start. So happens, I have a Masters in Art and an Ag background.
    Use good seed from a feed store--I just don't know much about the Lesco seed.
    Putting a new lawn is a major investment for a long time that adds value to your home for now and when you sell. Choose wisely!

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