Newly seeded lawn.

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by jjStowe, Jul 27, 2010.

  1. jjStowe

    jjStowe LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    I bought my home last fall, and the lawn was entirely weeds/field vegetation it had never been seeded or sodded.

    This spring I hired a company to do some landscaping, seeding, and sprinklers.

    I had signed everything early in May, the company finally started working the beginning of June and finished everything mid June.

    I live in central Minnesota, just under a quarter of an acre with a slight slope (3-6 degrees max). I have undeveloped grassland behind and on one side of my property, and a house with grass on the other side.

    Two days after they spread the seed we had a nice downpour that washed pretty much everything away and carved numerous trenches in the dirt of the yard. After that all irrigation would run to the trenches and off to the lowest points of the yard, or off the yard to the neighboring grasslands.

    At first I didn't know what to expect with the grass germinating, so I let it go for two weeks before calling the contractor when there was barely any grass coming up.

    They said the seed had washed out, and that they would need to bring in more dirt to fill in the trenches and reseed. I understood that the rain wasn't his fault and expected I would have to pay for the work, and I did.

    They waited another two weeks before getting to work on the new dirtwork and reseeding (middle of July by now), and the next day another bad storm washed the new seed away.

    Now I'm sitting on a lawn that is mainly dirt and crabgrass, with a little grass here and there.

    Before I pay for any more work I wanted to get some other professional opinins on how best to move ahead.

    Thanks in advance for any tips or advice!
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    How does this slight slope cause trenches? and wash all the seed away?

    We ned to work out those problems b4 fall, when planting should be done.
  3. LarryF

    LarryF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,181

    Sorry about your tough luck, but it's a bit late for you to do much about it now. This is not the time of year to be trying to start a new lawn, but in a month of two it will be. Since you said you only have a quarter of an acre, maybe you would be better off getting sod installed. However, if you are looking for a good how-to primer, maybe this web site will help some. Care Secrets Book.pdf
  4. jjStowe

    jjStowe LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Smallaxe - I think the trenches are being carved out by the way the water is running off the house during those heavy rains. There are two problem areas, one down the front yard where the gutter downspout is. The second is on the back side where there is a valley between the house's roof and the garage's roof.

    LarryF - I'm wishing we would have done sod to start with (with all this added expense we could have for what we're already out: initial work, one reseed, watering four times a day for two months...), but now I'm just trying to figure out the best, most cost effective way to get the yard finished.

    Our contractor wants to come back out with more dirt to smooth everything out again and spread more seed in a couple weeks, is this the best route? What about all the crabgrass?

    I could attach some pictures after I get home from work this evening if that would help.

    Thanks for the help.
  5. wrager

    wrager LawnSite Member
    from ATL
    Messages: 164

    Where are you located? Is this a warm season grass or cool season?
    Too early for cool, and tool late (almost) for warm depending on when the first deep freeze hits.
  6. jjStowe

    jjStowe LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    I'm in central Minnesota, St. Cloud area. Not sure what kind of grass the company used.
  7. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    IMO ... the contractor should be kicked in the head for not installing drainage for the downspouts.

    While it is possible to get seed established in the summer, it requires a lot of water to keep it alive. It is best to wait until fall in order to get the best results ... and you will probably want to seed again in the fall regardless of what you do now. If the contractor isn't going to deal with the erosion issues, then it is a waste of time and money to keep seeding it. Install some drainage for the downspouts and compost top dress (~ 1/2") any seed you put down. This will go a long way towards eliminating any further erosion and seed washing away. One other note ... if the irrigation is washing seed away, then it is not being irrigated properly and/or was not designed properly.

    Not much you can do about it now other than keeping if from going to seed if you are going to take the seeding lawn approach. If the contractor is going to prep a new seed bed, then the crabgrass that is there shouldn't be that much of an issue ... however you will get new crabgrass germination.

    Pics always help.
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    The CG will die on its own later in the fall, and Kiril is right... keep it from going to seed. I would quit irrigating and let the CG keep the dirt from blowing around, otherwise you are just helping the CG along.

    I would rake level those areas around the house where the deluge comes and put down sod, in just that area, or dig a french drain, put in a bush or small garden area, surround with an edging, something, but for now leave the yard alone.
    Good money after bad, is what you will have.

    I'm across the lake, here in Wisco, have you had the steamy hot summer, and constant rain, as well? This is not, cool season grasses, best weather, but perfect for CG.

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