When and how do I tilt and resees our lawn?


LawnSite Member
Hi everyone!<br>We live in Virgina and bought a house with a lawn in the back and in the front of the house. The house is about 20 years old and so is the lawn. Other than cutting the grass<br>we have not done anything to it and it looks pretty ugly. More weeds than grass by now.<br>Now we are getting ready to have a friend come up with a huge tiller on Sunday to till our lawn.<br>The friend says we need Scotts Turfbuilder,<br>Lime, Fescue 31 or Perennal Rye gras, Straw.<br>Now, my husband is going to get soil from a constructionsite for free. He calls it rich topsoil and insists that if we spread it on top of the lawn we do not need any fertilizer,<br>etc. in fact, he says it would hurt the lawn.<br>Maybe anyone out there can give me some advise. How deep should we till? Is the tilling going to destroy the old gras and weeds? How about the Turfbuilder?<br>I wanted to work a weed killer into the soil when tilling but now I fear that the gras will not grow when I do that. Is it too early to seed the lawn? We live in the shenandoah Valley. It can still drop below<br>32 at night and sometimes we get icerain<br>in March. Thanks for all your help.<br>I really appreciate it.<br>


LawnSite Bronze Member
South Bend, IN
You may want to start at the Virginia state cooperative extension service lawn recommendation site, at &lt;a href=&quot;http://www.ext.vt.edu/cgi-bin/WebObjects/Docs.woa/wa/getcat?cat=ir-ln-la&quot;&gt;Virginia Lawns&lt;/a&gt;.<p>Each state has a cooperative extension service that will give you free advice on just about everything you need around the home: plants, health, home management, financial, and more. There are local offices you can go to to find out more details and pick up free printed information on hundreds of topics.<p> In the midwest most state extension services run &quot;Master Gardener&quot; education programs. These low cost classes give special training on plant care, and graduates volunteer as assistants to the extension agents to help homeowners with plant problems. Perhaps VA has this program? The home page for your extension service is here http://www.ext.vt.edu.<p>I am in northern Indiana, so my lawn plan for here may not be functional for your area. However, I would make these general comments on your plan:<br>1- When adding soil non-native to the site, add 1/2 the soil you are going to add, spread to even thickness over the area, then till in. Then repeat process with remaining soil. Ideal would be to add 2&quot; topsoil, till to 6&quot; to 7&quot; depth, then add another 2&quot; topsoil, apply a starter fertilizer, and till to 4&quot; to 5&quot; depth. <br>2- tilling will not destroy weeds, would be better to spray with Roundup before you start any soil addition or tilling.<br>3- most weed killer, except for Roundup mentioned above, will harm new grasses, when applied less than 3 weeks before or 8 -10 weeks after seeding.<br>4- [red]If you are using cool season grass, which you seem to imply, you will have much better success seeding in mid-August.[/red] This will also give you time to better plan the endeavor.<p>Post again if you have specific questions about the extension service recommendations for your lawn.<p>----------<br>Jim<br>North central Indiana<p><br>


LawnSite Silver Member
i dont even no where to begin.... i have next door neighbor who two years ago moved in an decdided they wanted a new lawn. (20,000sq ft) they got these landscapers to do it that had absolutly no idea what they were doing. they landscaper came, he tilled 20,000sq ft worth of weeds under then put about a inch of topsoil then finallly seed (i just laughed as i watched them). well because they didnt kill the weeds they just plowed them over they all they back up two weeks later in full force.mostly nutsedge grass. because of the heavy weeds there was maybe only 10 percnt grass germination. the landscaper now came back after two weeks and saw what had happened has had 5 guys there 12 hours a day for 2 weeks hand picking the nutdege. they werent aware that if you handpull nutsege it leaves little bulbs in the ground wicch sprout right back up....they then seeded again. in another two weeks as i knew would happen the nutsegde came right back up covering the entire lawn area completly all over again. at this point i saw the home owner outside...he was outraged at all the m oneyt he was wasting and the horrible results. i explained to him why he had all these bad results. i adviced him to let me spray the entire lawn with round up. after i did that i told him to call lawn doctor and have them power seed his lawn (it works great) they did and the lawn came up like a baseball feild weed free, now he has me do all the lawn treatments and its the nicest lawn in the neighborhood about 10,000 later. (he wasted about 6,000 on services that didnt work) just thought it was a story worth telling and i am beggging you not to till all your weeds under. <br>