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New Homeowner - lawn is horrible

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by osusteven, Apr 6, 2010.

  1. osusteven

    osusteven LawnSite Member
    from xx
    Messages: 1

    I recently bought a house in Cincinnati. The previous owner had let the lawn become very overgrown, as seen in this picture from November, 2008.


    Someone else bought the house and ripped out all of the overgrowth, and presumably put down seed and hay sometime in the late fall.
    Now it's the spring and there is some grass coming up, but lots of bare patches.
    Below are some pictures.







    Front yard:




    There is some grass in the front yard, but the back is just a disaster. My question is what do I do now? I know I should go a rake out all of the dead stuff, hay, weeds, leaves, etc..., but what to do after that? What kind of seed would be the best? Fescue?
  2. zanemoseley

    zanemoseley LawnSite Member
    Messages: 182

    Looks like Tall Fescue to me but I'm not a pro. Its getting a bit late in the season to sow Fescue, I overseeded about 10 days ago to try and fill in some bare spots on my heavily sloped 2 acre lot. You are a bit cooler climate than me so you might be able to get away with seeding if you got on it now and watered every day. Personally, since you don't appear to have a situation were errosion would occur, I would probably wait til mid-late September. Fall is the best time to plant fescue, second best is Spring however you can get substantial losses during Summer if you don't get a good root system started.

    You could rent a walk behind core aerator and/or a slit seeder to help get the soil prepped and help the seed germinate. I'd lay 10lb of seed per 1,000 sq/ft in the bare spots and 5lb per 1,000 sqft in the better areas. Also throw 1/2-1# of Nitrogen down in the form of a starter fertilizer as well. Cover the bare spots with straw (NOT HAY).
  3. GrassStitcher

    GrassStitcher LawnSite Member
    Messages: 124

    I agree with reseeding the back yard in the fall, but an easy way to thicken the bare areas in the front is with the Grass Stitcher (www.grassstitcher) you could actually use the double Grass Stitcher in the back yard, might take some time but will work fantastic. With the Grass Stitcher you can leave that thatch / straw just make the perforations, apply seed and water - its that easy.
  4. dfischer

    dfischer LawnSite Member
    from Il
    Messages: 114

    first, are you sure you want to keep what you have? at least some is tall fescue, and many people, myslef included hate it. I 'd be looking for red fescue and bluegrass...

    if not rip out the fence, kill it all, walk it until its clean, rent a tractor w/a tiller and sart over. probably a fall project at this moment, but if you can take some time off and get it all done in 2 weeks you should be OK.. water gently twice a day

    if you insist on keeping what you have then clean and slit seed. over-seeding by hand is useless, save the money...

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