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Newbie New England Renovation question!!

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by raymont4, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. raymont4

    raymont4 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    Hi all - I live in New Hampshire and just renovated my front yard. Spent major $$, stripped grass, brought in new loam, installed irrigation and hydroseeded...came in GREAT and was SO happy...until Pythium struck. Anyways put down some Subdue and it appears to have stopped, after nearly killing my entire yard. 2 questions:

    1. Now that pythium hopefully is gone, now there is a TON of crabgrass where my old (but new) grass used to be. I know this stuff dies after first frost, but then is it too late to overseed? Should I put down some DRIVE to kill it? My fear is that once this crabgrass is dead, I'll realize how little grass I have left. Also, do i need to dig up that dead crabgrass (there is a lot of it), or will dethatching get most of that out?

    2. I'm about to redo my side yard with a similar process as mentioned above. I now know to do this in the fall, but is there a time when its 'safe' to do this? Again looking to avoid weeds but would like the lawn to be somewhat established before winter hits. September? October??

    Thanks all for your help
  2. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 26,984

    Overseed heavily 3rd week of august. Crabgras will die off mid sept and you will have the entire fall season for new grass to thrive. Problem with fall seeding is most people wait till too late. We do all ours mid aug till mid sept.
  3. raymont4

    raymont4 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    Thanks! the problem I'm seeing is that there will be little seed to soil contact because of all of this crabgrass....will that not be an issue? Should I seed then and also after the crabgrass is gone/dethatching?
  4. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,539

    Cool season grass, rye, bluegrass and fescue seedlings are not effected by frost. You could use drive but i would spray everything with roundup and start over. At the point you are at seed is the cheapest part of a yard. But use the best seed you can find. Dead crab does not need to be dug up. the dethatching tool will clean that up. But you shouldn't have much thatch. A steel rake will work just as well.

    Do this in the third week of August when you do your side yard. It is the safest time to seed. Weeds are at a minimum at that time of year. A good stand of grass is your best defense against weeds. Seeding in late Sept,Oct is a mistake. Mow at the right height, water judiciously and you will have a nice lawn.
  5. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 26,984

    that new , I wouldnt bother thatching , scacth the seed in with a iron rake if the CG is that bad.
  6. raymont4

    raymont4 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    Thanks for the replies...think I have a gameplan for later this month.

    Last question, and I'm sure its a common one so feel free to point me to a thread, but I just didnt find the answer.
    I usually just get Scotts sun and shade seed mix from HD/Lowes....should I be getting a blend from Lesco/John Deere Landscapes? What about quality and cost? I just assumed Scotts is so popular that its the most common seed
  7. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,539

    Scotts sun and shade mix is a mixture of kentucky bluegrass, ryegrass and fescue. A mixture of these three grass's are what you want. People who live closer to you can give better porportions than i can. If you are buying this at lowes it looks like you are paying about four dollars a pound. Maybe JDL can give you a better price on a comparable product, maybe not. I would shop around. Both lowes and JDL are resellers, they don't have any control on what goes in the bag. Get the best seed you can. It will pay off in the long run.

    You can use this link to check individual grass's for your area.

    You can use this link for general landscaping.
  8. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 26,984

    I use estateline that I get at a supply house called stateline in tyngsboro MA.
    Its a mix of red fescue, green fescue perenial rye and kbg, with kbg being the highest. Have had real good results with it.
  9. ChiTownAmateur

    ChiTownAmateur LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    AI is in your area and has 17000 posts so I would definitely listen to him.

    The most important thing to know about this is 2 things:
    1) The rule of thumb, subject to your own discretion, is that if more than 50% of the area needs renovating, you should just redo all of it. less than 50%, renovate the affected areas.

    2) The quality of the seeds you buy determines "how great" your lawn can look.

    Let #2 sink in a bit, because when I hear Scott's and the like it makes me cringe. It's not horrible seed, and some if it is actually very good. BUT, there are 3 factors you need to know about seed, regardless of what variety you are using (KBG, Rye, Fescue, etc.)

    1) Genetics. You can spend all the money you want on renovation and doing it "right", but imo most homeowners blow it when they go cheap on the seed. Nothing can grow beyond it's potential, and you need to buy top quality seed from a great source. Where? AI should be able to help locally. I've had good success with www.outsidepride.com, located on the west coast. If you write to them and explain your conditions, they will reply with recommendations. They are by no means the only good company, AI should point you in the right direction. (He posted above, is in NH and has 17000 posts here)

    2) Weed %. Yup, the dirty little secret of Scott's seed is the % of weeds in the bag. The last bag I got from them (and I will never buy Scotts again) had 2% weeds in their KBG mix!!!! That means for every 100 seeds planted, 2 are weed seeds. Ridiculous. Buy quality seed, there are virtually 0% weeds, a key factor.

    3) Germination %. Look at the germination % on a Scott's bag. Often in the low 80's....OK at best. For every 100 seeds you plant correctly, X% will grow...that is the germination rate. So a 95% germination rate is 15% more seeds growing than a 80% rate. Seed degrades over time also, older seed loses 10% or more per season depending upon the variety.

    Don't shoot yourself in the foot by overlooking this key step...buy GREAT seed, whatever kind it may be. KNOW it will look incredible, AND be resisitant to the Pythium you have experienced before. Good luck!
  10. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 26,984

    Raymot, if you are willing to spend some good money, jonathon green black beuty seed comes in real nice, but costs about twice as much.

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