Start over, wait, do something different?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by penleydr, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. penleydr

    penleydr LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    I have an acre in N Florida and I thought I'd try to green up my lawn this year. We just moved in last June and had other things to work on, so other than watering and mowing, we didn't do anything with the lawn last year. This is the current situation. For now I'm just working on the front yard.

    The past owner left an empty bucket of Argentine Bahia, so I laid down another 20 lbs, along with some weed n seed about 3 weeks ago. I also used some topsoil and manure that was left over from some gardening that my wife had done, just to fill in some spots.

    There are large trees that create almost all day shade in a few areas of the yard. I put down en extra layer of shade-specific mixture in some of those areas.

    As of now, there are only a couple of spots where the seeds have started to sprout up. It seems that these areas are where there is more shade and lower so it probably stays a little more moist.

    I'm thinking that I need more topsoil to clean up the rest of the yard. I don't own a truck (yet) so I'm thinking about having a local outfit drop off a bunch and justs spread it myself with a wheelbarrow and rake and shovel.

    I'm wondering if there's still seed in the ground and just not growing yet, and if I lay down the topsoil, will it start coming in. Or is it safe to say that after that long on the ground, it's either been eaten by birds and critters or otherwise useless, and if so, would it be worth it to put down some more seed?

    Would pictures help at all? I could take some when I get home this afternoon.
  2. bigslick7878

    bigslick7878 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 809

  3. penleydr

    penleydr LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    OK, here are some pics.

    This is the main weed I would eventually like to eradicate. It's got some green so it doesn't make the lawn look bad from a distance, but it gets pretty thick quickly. Have no idea what it is called.

    This pic I took to give a general idea of the kind of shade it gets. This was taken towards the east as the sun was coming up. It's pretty similar coming from the west at sundown. It leaves a big chunk in the center of the lawn that only gets direct sun for a few hours a day.

    In the previous picture, in the lower right hand corner below the closest tree, there's a patch where I seeded with a "shade specific" mix I picked up from Lowe's. This area gets a lot of shade and good water and the grass is really starting to come in, but I'm afraid this wouldn't work in some part of the yard.

    This is another angle under that same tree. You can see around the base along the right side it's got some good color. I think it will thicken up as the summer nears. You can see in the other areas though where there's some patchiness. It's not terribly unhealthy in this part of the lawn, I'd really just like to thicken it up and gain some color.

    This is a pretty OK area, but you can see I think that it could be thicker, and on the left you can see a lot of that flowery little weed I want to eradicate.
    same weed

    This is the best example in the yard where there's a lot of room for growth. This patch doesn't get much water because it's right next to the driveway and I don't have a sprinkler head that can hit it without wasting 90% of the water on the driveway. I've been a little negligent in watering it myself lately. On a smaller scale there's a lot of this going on throughout the yard though.

    So what should I do??? The options that I think of are, in no particular order...
    combination weed n feed
    change watering schedule/cycle

    By the way, I have a sprinnkler system that hits all these spots, and it runs 45 min per zone every night. It's been pretty dry lately so I'll back off that when the summer rains come.

    I question whether nor not I should rake all the leaves up. There's really no option for me other than a rake and bagging it all up, but I REALLY don't want to do that. Investing in equipment to do it isn't really an option either.
    The thing is, these aren't big leaves sitting on top of the lawn that a rake will easily move along. These leaves are mostly smaller ones that are sitting "underneath" the grass, and frankly I'm afraid I'd do more harm than good trying to get it all out. On the other hand, I have to wonder if it's prohibitive to getting the lawn I want to see.

    Also I can get 5 yds of topsoil delivered for about $200. No idea if that's a good deal or not, but I'm thinking about doing that to fill in some spots, especially if I lay down any more seed.

    Thanks in advance for any input!!!

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