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Old 05-22-2013, 07:46 PM   #1
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First Time Growing "Grass"


Ok this is my first time growing grass , Loom will be drop and spread out 4-6 inches next is where do I start? I have been asking an every one says to use a "First Start" seed and Fertilized some have a number 1 and 2?
What is the best way to start do I lay Fertilized first then seed? got about 1600 sq feet to do.

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Old 05-24-2013, 03:02 AM   #2
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You can successfully plant grass in the dead of winter. Of course it wont come up till spring but it will come up ANY TIME you plant it. Check the package for planting conditions though... There might be some sensitive seed out there that I'm not aware of. Oops. I didn't see your request for step-by-step directions, so I'll edit this. !) buy seed. 2) open seed bag and dump into a seed spreader (20-30 bucks at a hardware store), or if you want just take any empty container you can carry and just go around the yard spreading it with your hand! You can't really go wrong with planting grass seed, I mean it. 3) If you can, get some straw and lightly cover the seed with the straw. But its not really necessary. You don't really have to water it if it rains occasionally where you are. 4) Go inside and have a pina coloda and in about 2 weeks, you will see grass start growing, it's that easy!
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Old 05-24-2013, 06:57 AM   #3
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First Time Growing "Grass"


It depends what type of seed your planning on growing. Bluegrass? Don't plan on having drinks like patio said. It needs daily watering until it reaches 4".

But whatever seed you pick "contractor" will give you the fastest yard. Spread the seas and then run a landscaping roller over it to push the seeds into the soil. Water daily so the seeds don't dry out until they sprout.
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:58 AM   #4
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It would be easier to just hire someone to hydro-seed the yard, or just put forth the cost for sod. It will come out the same costs for the prep & seeding as it does to lay sod. Plus Sod is quick and done with, where as with seed, it can take up to a year for it to look decent, and takes more work.
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Old 05-24-2013, 05:00 PM   #5
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It depends what type of seed your planning on growing. Bluegrass? Don't plan on having drinks like patio said. It needs daily watering until it reaches 4".

But whatever seed you pick "contractor" will give you the fastest yard. Spread the seas and then run a landscaping roller over it to push the seeds into the soil. Water daily so the seeds don't dry out until they sprout.
Do not use contractor seed. It contains a high percentage of the cheapest, annual, rye grass on the planet that will only grow for one season. It is coarse and it will steal nutrients from the grass you want. It will germinate quickly but then what? You will have nothing next year. More in a bit.

I am trying to find recent instructions I posted for preparing for a new lawn. The basics are the same whether seed, sod or hydroseed. You cannot just bring in 4-6" of topsoil and expect much unless you plan to grow the lawn in that layer. This might work until the first drought.
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Old 05-24-2013, 06:52 PM   #6
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First Time Growing "Grass"


I couldn't find the post I wanted so will start over and hope not to miss anything. As mentioned, unless you plan to grow in the topsoil layer you are bringing in only, you need to do more. It is not a bad idea to know for sure where buried utilities are before you start. Cable and phone lines are sometimes lazily plunked just under the surface.

1. Rough till your existing soil and incorporate organic ammendements, your new top soil, and lime or gymspum (if needed) to balance Ph.

2. Remove any large rocks, weed clumps, old tree roots etc.

3. Trench and install all your lawn irrigation lines. Leave the sprinkler heads above grade for now.

4. Once you are done with everything you need to do as far as walking on the seed bed, till again to a fine soil mix. Incorporate a starter fertilizer with this tilling (unless you are going to hydroseed). Rake to your finish grade.

5. Broadcast a seed mix appropriate for your growing conditions. Now is a great time to buy seed because you can get it in bulk. A typical mix contains a blend of hybrid perennial rye, fescue, and bluegrass but you can make your own. Stay away from contractor blends that have high concentrations of annual rye that will steal nutrients and only last one season.

6. Rake lightly. Apply a top dress of peat moss, straw (not hay), redwood compost etc.

7. If laying sod, make sure the sod was harvested no more than 48 hours ago and preferably within 24. Lay the sod and start watering it immediately as you go.

8. With either seed or sod, roll the entire area with a landscape roller no more than 1/2 full to make sure you make soil contact with either the seed or or the sod roots. If you fill the roller more, you risk compacting the soil or damaging the sod layer.

9. Now then. As hinted, hydroseeding is a wonderful process where a contractor (I guess you can DIY with rental equipment) comes out and sprays a thick slurry of fertilizer, premium turf seed, and protective crust on to your prepared seed bed. It germinates more quickly than conventional seeding and establishes faster than sod for a fraction of the cost.

Anyhow, once planted do not underestimate the amount of time and water it takes to establish a lawn. You must keep seed evenly moist until it germinates and times will vary depending on the type. Annual rye (which you do not want) will germinate in 5 days which is why contractors toss it on just to have green. Perennial rye will sprout in about 7-10, and fescues and bluegrasses can take up to 14-28 days.

Keep a close eye on sod as well. At first you just want to keep the cut transplant layer alive and too much water can drown it. But you want to back off watering to encourage it to root down into the soil or you could end up just growing a sod layer for eternity.

Same with a seeded or hydroseeded lawn. Once all the seed has germinated start backing off multiple waterings per day and with the eventual goal of watering longer and deeper for maximum health and drought resistance. Try never to water later in the day than the grass blades can dry out to discourage moist nighttimes conditions that attract egg laying insects and disease spores.

After the second mowing or so, put the lawn on a regular lawn care regimen of regular feeding, weed and pesticide control, etc. The turf should also have settled to the point you can surface your sprinkler heads at this point too.

Plan for annual aeration and de-thatching as needed.

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Old 05-24-2013, 08:41 PM   #7
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Just remember the more you water the shorter your grass roots will grow and the more you have to water..which is the main reason I don't like sod. They sell contractor seed without any annuals...
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Old 05-24-2013, 08:43 PM   #8
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And it is way way way cheaper to seed yourself then pay someone to lay sod..... And it's hardly any work....
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:04 PM   #9
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Stop. Get a guy out to hydroseed the lawn. Your done. It would be cheaper then sod. At least get an estimate to hydroseed before proceeding yourself.
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:32 PM   #10
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Just remember the more you water the shorter your grass roots will grow and the more you have to water..which is the main reason I don't like sod. They sell contractor seed without any annuals...
Incorrect. Sod is just as good as grass seed. It all depends on how you "teach" or "train" it to adjust to the habits you create. That means, that if you only water 20 min's every day, it will not root deeper. If you water a hour every three or so days to keep moisture in the ground, the roots will go deeper.

Also depends on the soil layers, how deep the roots will go, along with what type of sod you lay. Talk to a reputable company in your area, that does all three types (seed, sod, hydro), and they will be able to give you estimates on the initial work, maintenance until it takes off, then maintenance until the second year, to make sure that you go your money's worth.

A friend of ours used his dad's hay spreader and field equipment to break up the soil for their yard, when he laid the seed. The seed he used, is the same stuff cities use for along highways and in cities between the sidewalks and streets. It is a mix of Rye, Blue-grass, etc. adj. depending on where you live.

Figure what your cost is for time, labor, materials and compare to what it will cost a crew of four or five to come and do the job in two or three hours and be gone until six or eight weeks, to fix spots that did not take, which would take no more than 30 min's to fix.
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Old 05-25-2013, 06:27 AM   #11
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I've nothing against sod if the circumstances call for it. If it is freshly harvested and installed properly, and if you commit to establishing it properly you get instant green. You cannot walk around or play on it much for quite some time or you risk killing it. It is expensive. And it will take as much water and attention to a careful watering schedule to establish a transplant product like sod as it will seed.

Hydroseeding is amazing. I do hope you will at least price it although seeding the old fashioned way will always be the cheapest. It is just so hard to screw up a hydroseeded lawn. It will germinate quickly and establish fast.

I am sure there are blends of turf seed marked as contractor grade that do not continue annual grasses. Just be careful to look carefully at the labels. If it is just a matter of the seed coming without fancy packaging go for it so long as the seed is fresh. If the bag has been laying around for a few season you risk germination failure.

As mentioned, now is a great time to buy nice, fresh turf seed as it will be available in bins at real nurseries, garden centers, hardware stores, etc. for you to mix and match.

And in all of this? 90 percent of your success is going to be in the time and money spent to properly prepare your lawn seedbed. Do you really want to save the equivalent of a couple cups of coffee buying cheap seed after all that?
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Old 06-01-2013, 05:53 AM   #12
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Will been out ask for info's I got a 50/50 on using
Starter Fertilizer
then Seeding and
Seeding than Fertilizer and
Seeding after I lay the Fertilizer and
another is wait 2 weeks to Fertilize after I seed?
Scotts makes a Northern Grass Seed for our Area and uses less watering .
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Old 06-01-2013, 08:33 AM   #13
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Again, I would fold you starter fertilizer in with your final tilling and distribute it as evenly through the prepped soil as you can.

If not, whether you seed or fertilize first does not really matter. You do not want to apply fertilizer to the tiny grass shoots though so it needs to go down close to the time you seed. If not, then you would wait 2-4 weeks.
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