New home.. need yard help

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Jeffd1979, Sep 25, 2003.

  1. Jeffd1979

    Jeffd1979 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 56

    I recentally purchased a new home in Charlotte NC... Been in it for about 3 weeks not and the lawn is starting to come in pretty good. I am having to mow it for the 2nd time today and was wondering is it better for the lawn to bad the grass or use the mulch feature on the lawn mower?

    Also There are some areas that are not growing so well... I am wanting to reseed.. i went to home depot and bought a 40 lb bag of scotts lawn seed and a scotts seeder... What is the best way to seed? Do you have to scratch the surface or will just throwing the seed down work? thanks for the tips guys...
  2. redbull

    redbull LawnSite Member
    Messages: 182

    go rent a seeder/slicer - $45.00 a day at most rental stores. try to rent a good one - bluebird, billygoat
  3. craigs lawncare

    craigs lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 307


    I would just side discharge the grass with your mower and not bag or mulch it if you can help it.
    Mow your grass as high as the mower will permit and keep your blades sharp. Your best bet is to buy a second set of blades for your mower so you can have a sharpened set of blades ready all the time. Sharp blades will cause less stress for your young lawn.
    If you are just over seeding, I get good results with a simple broadcast spreader.
  4. Green in Idaho

    Green in Idaho LawnSite Senior Member
    from Idaho
    Messages: 833

    Jeff I hope this is not too late.

    HOLD OFF on the HD seeds.

    You should be sure the new seed will be the same as that already planted and growing.

    It sounds like an outfit did a hydroseed for you maybe????

    In any event you should contact who put in the orginal seed and get the same supplier or at least know you are getting the same seed mix. Otherwise the Home Depot seed is going to be a slightly different color, texture, responsiveness etc... as that already in . IF it is a spot area it look funny.

    For new lawns in sod, I would always recommend asking for a small bag of seeds of the SAME seed used to grow the sod.

    IF you can not get the orginal mix, then be sure to get something close and get enough to spread beyond the bare spots to 'blend' in the bare seeds with the existing turf.

    Mulch whenever possible. Better for the turf, better for your trash can, it's usually faster than bagging and it makes sense.

    As for seeding, I have done many small areas just by raking the seeds into the soil. That works fine. Prep the soil with some starter fertilizer, water lightly, throw seeds on so you can see the EVEN distribution. Then with a hard tine rake, rake em in to give a little soil cover, provides water retention, etc. Then with a flat shovel or something comparable tamp the soil down. Then with a light rake or light touch of any rake go over soil again to rough up a bit for better water retention (prevent run-off). If you have lots of birds in the area, put some mulch over the area to prevent seed loss to a flock of tweeties.

    Most important:
    1) seed variety matches
    2) seed has contact with the soil
    3) watering everyday to keep the area moist, not muddy.

    Congrats on the new house!
  5. Jeffd1979

    Jeffd1979 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 56

    Well i used the same type of grass seed the builder put down but it is from a different company... Will it make that much of a difference??? I already put down a 40 lb bag of it and i don;t see to much of a color difference.. looks pretty uniform... i will probably put another 40lbs down before the season is over... is it to early to put down fertilizer?
  6. Green in Idaho

    Green in Idaho LawnSite Senior Member
    from Idaho
    Messages: 833

    Difference? Probably not much if any. But if ask a builder what grass and they said Kentucky bluegrass, and go to HD to get Kentucky bluegrass, there are many different varities of that species. Some are developed for unique traits like pest resistance, or a slightly different color. It's like big boy tomatoes. They are not all the same.

    If you've already put it down and such, there is no need to worry about it. Go with it. IF it does turn out differently you can consider correcting it downstream, eh? Chances are it not be noticed. If it is, at least you will know the why rather than pondering why that area doesn't react the same as the rest of the lawn.

    Timing? Depends mostly on temperatures. In my area of beautiful Idaho, now is a perfect time to fertilize. For timing you need to consider the objectives of fertilizing. It is to FEED the soil and grass. When is the best time to feed?

    Grass and plants are much like people.

    Do you want to be fed before going into a stressful meeting? Nerves & food usually do one thing to me and it's not #1. Do you want to be fed in the morning after resting all night? Do you want to fed before starting a rigorous day? Right before or with enough time to allow the grub to settle in and give you energy when you need it? Do you want one huge meal in a day or three spread out with some snacks in between? Do you want quick energy? Or muscle building nutrients?

    Grass and plants are the same way.

    1) It is best to feed it before it needs the nutrients to do it's best growing, in the spring and fall. It is best give a good root fertilizer in the fall to allow the roots to have the food to expand too.

    2) It is best to spread it out in just the right amounts rather than an annual DUMP

    3) It is best to give it what it needs for timing. All fert has 3 primary numbers for n-p-k (nitrogren-phosphorus-potassium). Nitrogren is for top growth, leaves and green color to help in photosynthesis. Phosporus is for root growth and flower developement. Potassium is for general vigor and stem development. A typical fertilizer ratio is something like 12-4-4. Those are percentages. That fert would have 12lbs of N in a 100 lb bag and so on.

    So when you give grass lots of Nitrogen you are making it grow top growth (height) and you are MAKING it grow. But in hot temperatures that stresses the plant. It doesn't kill it, but it stresses it because the natural course of a plant is to conserve during the heat- just like you on a hot day. If your boss dumped a ton of work on you when you want to conserve and ride through the stress, that just add to your pile, right? Same with plants.

    As far as fertilizing and seeding, those two go together. So if you did not fert when you seeded, you ought to do so now. IF it is too hot for general fertilizing, then it is probably too hot for seeding. But even in July, it is fine to seed with starter fertilizer if the area is kept watered. Notice starter fertilizer is something like 8-12-4. The phosporus content is higher to get root development before a lot of top growth.

    So being that it is the end of Sept. I would say yes, fertilize it unless your are having a heat wave.

    4) It is best to feed according to special needs. If your soil is low in a nutrient or as low pH, then fertilizing along with supplemental elements (food/fertilizer) is helpful. Where you have a new lawn it needs special food just like a new baby== Starter fertilizer.

    Basic fertilizing is three times a year (early spring, early summer, and early fall).

    Better approach is 5 or 6 applications. With 6 that is puting on half as much each time as you would if doing 3 applications.

    Working WITH the plants natural cycle and needs is a lot easier and better for it.

    When in doubt --think of your landscape as a person and do what you would for a person. :D

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