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Old 02-14-2017, 06:04 PM   #1
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New First homeowner. No grass in yard,we gotta fix that,but how?


Im 27,and new to owning my own home. Problem is previous owner did NOTHING to the yard. its mixed with red dirt,sand and just nothing. Now me,i know nothing about building a new yard. I think ok well "you throw the seed out,and in a few weeks boom! a grassy yard" I know there must be more then this. Im a mechanic,not a lawn care guru.


I had to have several LARGE trees removed recently,so most of the land has been ran over with bobcats,loaders etc. so the ground is been fairly disturbed/grounded up then smoothed back out fairly flat. About 3000ish sq ft.


I ordered some kentucky 31 grass seed. Why? Dont know. Some old guy that owns a lawn company told me to do so. So i did. Before i sow this yard with seed,what is the basics that i need to know? Ive got mostly full sun if that matters. I was looking at that grass fertilizer you screw onto a garden hose and spray it. Yay? nay? Thanks SO much!
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Old 02-14-2017, 06:16 PM   #2
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Re: New First homeowner. No grass in yard,we gotta fix that,but how?


Before you drop a single seed, make sure your soil is graded down and slopes away from your house and any other structures.
I have no green thumb, but, plant seed, cover with straw, water regularly for the first 2 weeks always works for me.

Others will want to know where you intend to plant this Kentucky 31 grass. Geographical location?
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Old 02-14-2017, 06:45 PM   #3
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Re: New First homeowner. No grass in yard,we gotta fix that,but how?


No location, not had a soils test done, no pictures, it's anyone's guess.
Checked out the Scotts web site yet?
Whole lot of usefull info there.
Grass is not going to grow with no top soil.
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Old 02-14-2017, 07:02 PM   #4
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Re: New First homeowner. No grass in yard,we gotta fix that,but how?


Yup. Location. I guess if a local told you to plant the Kentucky that's worth something.

Grass varieties have different germination times and different watering requirements once they're established. Also different drought tolerance, different color, different blade width...

I'm in the Northeast and a lot of the guys swear by Lesco Double Eagle turf type perennial rye grass.

That's what I put on my lawn last fall. You have to keep it moist until it germinates which could mean watering it a couple of times per day if it's hot, and then water it daily after germination. I also put down starter fertilizer.

Bluegrass takes the longest to germinate - 3 to 4 weeks. Perrenial ryegrass takes 5-10 days.

If your local university has a cooperative extension they might have free info on establishing lawns.

Here's a site on starting a lawn from seed.

http://www.garden-counselor-lawn-car...rmination.html
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Old 02-14-2017, 07:41 PM   #5
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Re: New First homeowner. No grass in yard,we gotta fix that,but how?


Mentioned in the link, soil temperature is critical for seed germination and a university extension service can help with that. While visiting with them ask for a little instruction about a germination test. Like planting 100 seeds in a controlled environment to see what percentage germinates. Some seed batches can be trash and you'd be wasting time planting seed that only has a 10 percent germination rate. Also some seed companies may have that germ. success rate listed on the bag and guaranteed.
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Old 02-15-2017, 08:09 AM   #6
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Re: New First homeowner. No grass in yard,we gotta fix that,but how?


If you want a nice looking yard, i would suggest that you do NOT use Kentucky 31. It is a very coarse grass that grows in clumps.

The type of seed you should use depends on a couple of factors. Where are you located? Is the area sunny all day, shady all day, or somewhere in between?

I would suggest that you first get a soil sample evaluated. Take a little soil from 3 or 4 places in the yard and take it to your local Extension Service office or to a large nursery near you. They can send the soil out for testing for about $15. When the report comes back, it will tell you what you need to have a healthy lawn. I typically have that done by my local wholesale nursery (sell products to landscapers) and they lookat the report and come up with a plan for me. I started doing this about 10 years ago and my lawn has never looked better.

I would bet that you will need seed as well as Starter fertilizer. However, the soil test will tell you if you need lime, sulphur, organic matter, magnesium, etc.

Good luck!

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Old 02-15-2017, 09:50 AM   #7
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Re: New First homeowner. No grass in yard,we gotta fix that,but how?


Also look at the date the bag was tested and the germination rate. You don't want a bag that's a year old or with a low germination rate.
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Old 02-15-2017, 09:53 AM   #8
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Re: New First homeowner. No grass in yard,we gotta fix that,but how?


You COULD just decide that you don't NEED grass. BOOM. You are done.

If you need grass, then it needs watering, needs mowing...
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Old 02-15-2017, 10:19 AM   #9
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Re: New First homeowner. No grass in yard,we gotta fix that,but how?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffmattero76 View Post
If you want a nice looking yard, i would suggest that you do NOT use Kentucky 31. It is a very coarse grass that grows in clumps.
I agree with jeffmattero76, I hate Kentucky 31. It's a very old fescue. My house was built in 1953 and has some patches that I'm slowly trying replace. They've come up with much better blends nowadays. If you want to buy high quality seeds take a look at https://www.seedsuperstore.com. The site is also a good reference for what type of grass will work in your area and their sun/water requirements.

I'm a first time homeowner as well and I can tell you that growing grass isn't as easy as you'd think however if your soil is decent and your yard receives a lot of sun it will be much easier. We really need your location to give you better advice but in general:
  • get the soil tested and follow the instructions they give on soil amendments, fertilizers, etc.
  • if the dirt is very compacted you may need to till first (if you do add some organic matter like compost)
  • pick the correct type of grass for your climate and amount of sun your lawn receives. Almost everyone uses a blend of various types of seeds. One advantage is it makes your grass less susceptible to disease. I live in Connecticut and my backyard receives the most sun so it's a mixture of perennial rye and fine fescue (heavier on the perennial rye which loves the sun). The front has more fine fescue because that seed tolerates shade much better.
  • Water correctly. Google how to do this. You want to water in the morning, not at night, and use the right amount of water.

Now once you have grass growing you need to keep it healthy. It will take over a year to develop a strong root system so pay close attention at first.

Good luck!

//mark
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Old 02-15-2017, 10:19 AM   #10
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Re: New First homeowner. No grass in yard,we gotta fix that,but how?


Quote:
Originally Posted by ttiiggy View Post
You COULD just decide that you don't NEED grass. BOOM. You are done.
If you need grass, then it needs watering, needs mowing...
THIS.......for myself, anyway, was the way to go.
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Old 02-15-2017, 10:21 AM   #11
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Re: New First homeowner. No grass in yard,we gotta fix that,but how?


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Originally Posted by Paultergeist View Post
THIS.......for myself, anyway, was the way to go.

So did you pave the whole thing, or what?
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Old 02-15-2017, 10:35 AM   #12
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Re: New First homeowner. No grass in yard,we gotta fix that,but how?


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Originally Posted by abrowning View Post
So did you pave the whole thing, or what?
For full disclosure, my landscaping is still very much a work in progress....but....

I live in Southern California. Water here is expensive. Those lawns required lots of water (or they would die), but then the combination of water, warm temperatures and sunlight created a lot of lawn growth. I had to mow those lawns every weekend. I didn't like that....

I went with a lot of succulents in my landscape. The front hedge is all jade plant. I used two different kinds of ice-plant (low-lying succulents) as ground cover for some large areas. Bigger palm trees around the perimeter, a couple of citrus which create their own zone around them (bark mulch at their bases) and then I have some pretty big areas where I laid gravel on top of landscape fabric. Lastly, there are a couple of smaller patios where I used concrete pavers. It is far from perfect; it is far from completed, but water use is probably 1/5 of what I went through with the lawns, AND I spend far less time and money maintaining the yards.
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Old 02-15-2017, 10:41 AM   #13
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Re: New First homeowner. No grass in yard,we gotta fix that,but how?


If I wasn't surrounded by well manicured lawns I'd be tempted to try something similar, but for a northeastern climate. Lawns are a waste of time and money. Yes they look nice, but they are ultimately using resources that could be put to better use. My money is one resource and the city's reservoir is another.
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Old 02-15-2017, 05:24 PM   #14
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Re: New First homeowner. No grass in yard,we gotta fix that,but how?


Sorry for not posting location,Im in SC.
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Old 02-24-2017, 01:47 PM   #15
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Re: New First homeowner. No grass in yard,we gotta fix that,but how?


You did not mention irrigation set up.....Your 3000 sq.ft. has been nicely compacted.

Why not a low growing ground cover like.....Thymus serpyllum or Mother of Thyme/Creeping Thyme ? Maybe 3" high and you can mow it back if needed. Moderate water.
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