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Why is my grass not growing yet?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by gulfjoe, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. gulfjoe

    gulfjoe LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,638

    7 Days ago today I ripped out my entire yard. It was weed infested and I was not happy with it. I rented a sod cutter and tiller from the local tool rental in town and with the help from some friends we got it done in a day. I planted Rebel IV tall fescue turf type. I think I may have made a mistake though I went to Lowes and bought 4400 pounds of top soil. I spread it out then I laid the seed and starter fertilizer. Should I have put the seed out first then the top soil?? I called a friend and he told me to rake it all in and I did that. I know that I am probably being impatient, but I have a wife asking me 5 times a day when are we going to have grass. We are now known as the house with the dirt yard in the neighborhood. Do I need to go buy more seed and soil and start over? Any tips would be great.
    Thank you
    Gulf Joe
  2. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Messages: 2,253

    Fescue is about the slowest of all seed to germinate. You did right by putting you soil down and then the seed. I would expect the germination period to be at least two (2) week if the soil temp at night is above 55. Cooler than that, longer. I've seen fescue lay on the ground for 6 months then finally sprout. In East TN, we have even used a light snow to sow the stuff (making sure of an even application). The melting snow took the seen into the ground. Did fine. After germination and sprouting, YOU MUST keep the soil moist--a little straw over it would have helped shade it and keep the soil moist. Other than that--it's just a waiting game. A question: Why fescue in TX? I was thinking St. Augustine there.
  3. gulfjoe

    gulfjoe LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,638

    I am in the USAF, and I am origanally from GA. we always had Fescue there and I loved it. I did not think it would even grow here until one of my supervisors bought a new house a couple streets down and grew and it looks beautiful. probally the 3rd nicest yard in the entire neighbor hood. One guys yard looks like a putting green. I asked him what kind of maintenance it requires out here and all he said is just a little more water than you would normally use on teh Bermuda and st Augistine.
  4. tombo82685

    tombo82685 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 288

    turf type tall fescue isnt the slowest of all grasses to seed. Turf type fescue should seed in IDEAL conditions between 7-11 days, but if those conditions arent right it will take longer. The slowest is kent bluegrass which takes about 2 weeks or more in ideal conditions. I also wouldnt use straw or hay. They actually grow into your yard. Go with a penn mulch or fine mulch, this will help keep the seed moist, heat the seed to make it germinate quicker, and also prevent it from washing away from rains
  5. bigslick7878

    bigslick7878 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 809

    When will you have a lawn?

    About 2 months with seed from start to finish,especially starting from scratch.

    It takes time man,even when it first comes in in about 2 weeks(more like 3 this time of year)for it to be fully grown it will be like 2 months.

    After the first seed,you are going to have spots here and there,and it will be very thin and easily damaged for a while until it matures.You need to overseed it again when you can see what sopts didnt come in,then repeat and by the end of about a month and a half to 2 months it will be good to go.

    You put down starter fertilizer correct? That helps a lot.

    And another thing,rather than buy 110 bags of top soil you can buy it in bulk and get about 3 times as much for the same money
  6. Armadillolawncare

    Armadillolawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 570

    I nearly choked when I read that he bought 4400 lbs of topsoil from Lowes!!!
  7. kirk1701

    kirk1701 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    I'm willing to bet he thinks it was top soil but got the compost/manure in the 40 Lb green bags. I went that route last fall because I didn't know where to get the compost locally for top dressing.

    Needless to say I will this fall.
  8. gulfjoe

    gulfjoe LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,638

    I figured I would get hammered for saying I bought that much top soil from lowes. BUT it was a 1.55 a bag and i get a 10% military discount. and it was top soil scotchmans choice. the cheap stuff
  9. The Elements Group

    The Elements Group LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 308

    What part of sc are you in? I know of a turf farm that sells thier fescue seed which has a 87% germination rate and did you put hay or wheat straw down over the seed soil mix?
  10. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,778

    Look for sprouts around 7 days if the weather is right. I planted over a week ago and mine is just now coming in. We have had 2 days of sun since planted and its taking its sweet time in some spots. We also had a crap load of rain that likely washed away some of my seed into my bermuda lawn (That will be fun next year).

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