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Old 07-15-2013, 09:08 AM   #1
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How to build lawn from beginning


As I mentioned in my koi pond thread, I recently bought a house, and the lawn has all types of weed growing on it. Since this is my first house I would like to get some tips on how to rebuild the lawn.
Here's the list of what I think I need to do, please feel free to correct me.

1. mow the lawn, get everything down to as low as possible.
2. apply weed killer, later remove dead grass.
3. In early September (I am in upstate NY), apply starting fertilizer.
4. Then being seeding (Scotts Sun & Shade Mix, or Tall Fescue?)
5. Apply more fertilizer?
6. Keep my fingers crossed and hope the seeds will germinate.

One somewhat related question: This is a bi-level house, what should I put around the perimeter of the house to keep the first level dry? Cedar mulch? Stones?


Last edited by seiyafan; 07-15-2013 at 09:21 AM.
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Old 07-15-2013, 09:32 AM   #2
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How to build lawn from beginning


Quote:
Originally Posted by seiyafan View Post
As I mentioned in my koi pond thread, I recently bought a house, and the lawn has all types of weed growing on it. Since this is my first house I would like to get some tips on how to rebuild the lawn.
Here's the list of what I think I need to do, please feel free to correct me.

1. mow the lawn, get everything down to as low as possible.
2. apply weed killer
3. In early September (I am in upstate NY), apply starting fertilizer.
4. Then being seeding (Scotts Sun & Shade Mix, or Tall Fescue?)
5. Apply more fertilizer?
6. Keep my fingers crossed and hope the seeds will germinate.

One somewhat related question: This is a bi-level house, what should I put around the perimeter of the house to keep the first level dry? Cedar mulch? Stones?
I'll answer the last question first being to me that's most important and if you read forums at all you may agree since most basements leak and crawl spaces are damp from improper drainage.

7) Concrete of your choice, stamped or other, sloped 2" per foot for a minimum distance of at least 4 ft. from the structure followed by any soil sloped and maintained minimum at 1" / ft. to the property line.

0) Test the soil to determine what it needs to grow a healthy grass of your choice in your area. Test kits can be obtained at most ant Mart store. They have the same basics a lab would use.

And lastly check with a landscape business in your area for 1) - 6) to determine what works in your area for the lawn you desire.

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Old 07-15-2013, 09:40 AM   #3
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How to build lawn from beginning


How big an area are you going to do?
Do a soil test to see what you need to amend before seeding.
Did some test holes to see how deep the topsoil is and to see what's underneath.. sand, clay, rock, etc.

I would kill the existing vegetation then use a rototiller to break up the soil and add any amendments. Rake smooth, roll then reseed.

If your soil base is poor, you'll have a hard time getting a good healthy lawn established.
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Old 07-15-2013, 10:06 AM   #4
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How to build lawn from beginning


sorry, what is ant mart store? I've never heard of it here in new york.

Last edited by seiyafan; 07-15-2013 at 10:14 AM.
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Old 07-15-2013, 10:13 AM   #5
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7) Concrete of your choice, stamped or other, sloped 2" per foot for a minimum distance of at least 4 ft. from the structure followed by any soil sloped and maintained minimum at 1" / ft. to the property line.
Let me use a picture to describe what I have, I took this picture on the internet as it is very similar to mine.


You can see on the first level, there is soil with mulch on the top, right against the concrete foundation. So do you mean to add sloped concrete right below the first level windows?
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Old 07-21-2013, 08:50 PM   #6
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How to build lawn from beginning


Does replacing mulch with stones help with moisture control around the concrete foundation?
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Old 07-21-2013, 10:22 PM   #7
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How to build lawn from beginning


Stones won't make a difference. Do you have moisture or water problems? Based on your pics and the slope of the lawn, water should already be running away from the house.
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Old 07-21-2013, 10:42 PM   #8
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How to build lawn from beginning


The time of year is critical.

You want to seed on Labor Day or before Memorial Day.

If you want to start as soon as possible, that means Memorial Day and I hope your soil is tillable then.

Get some round-up and read the instructions as far as how soon after application you can seed grass.

You may want to rent a tiller which is mounted behind a small tractor or large lawn mower. Or hire it out.

I have had best success by first preparing the seed bed, seeding, spreading straw, then rolling. After germination, you can apply some starter fertilizer.

The straw is the most expensive part of the deal and in my opinion the most crucial. It will allow you to use less water and will prevent the wind from taking everything away with it. You can use burlap if you have a steep slope.

Then you want to keep it moist, not wet.

When you first mow, I've found it is best to use a push mower with a sharp blade in order to get the best cut. Cut it high of course.
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Old 07-22-2013, 07:25 AM   #9
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Stones won't make a difference. Do you have moisture or water problems? Based on your pics and the slope of the lawn, water should already be running away from the house.
There is no water problem, it's just that the first level always feel more damp.
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Old 07-22-2013, 08:02 AM   #10
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How to build lawn from beginning


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There is no water problem, it's just that the first level always feel more damp.
Is the back and right side below grade too?

The dampness you feel is par for the course for below grade living areas. Aside from the garage, is the rest of the area finished space? Is it air conditioned?

I would suggest picking up a digital hygrometer so you can measure the humidity level in that area. It probably can be solved with a dehumidifier.
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Old 07-22-2013, 08:35 AM   #11
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How to build lawn from beginning


Will do, thanks!

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