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Old 05-26-2018, 11:59 AM   #1
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Where to start with this lawn


My lawn needs help. I am in eastern PA. I've got a hill that gets a ton of sun but no grass will grow on it. Last fall I tried to aerate and add grass seed but didn't really go "all in" on fixing the lawn because I had other stuff to work on.

I'd like to give it a little more attention this year. See pictures. My whole lawn needs fixing but the worst area is that hill that gets all the sun. I am thinking of getting a gas powered tiller/cultivator and just taking it to that hill. Get the soil loose and then plant some grass seed?

Would appreciate your thoughts!
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Old 05-26-2018, 12:14 PM   #2
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Re: Where to start with this lawn


Its getting a little late in the season to be planting seed. September would be a better time.

Sod makes it a lot easier.
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Old 05-26-2018, 12:35 PM   #3
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Re: Where to start with this lawn


Soil test it in several places. Betcha it's low in nitrogen & has a high pH. You can get the tests in a hardware store.

Till it, remove lg roots, add fertilizer according to tests, water, wait required time so fertilizer doesn't burn the seeds, seed, incorporate it & roll.

Will it have a source of water?

We start lawns all year long but I'm in CA.
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Old 05-26-2018, 02:12 PM   #4
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Re: Where to start with this lawn


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Originally Posted by Nik333 View Post
Soil test it in several places. Betcha it's low in nitrogen & has a high pH. You can get the tests in a hardware store.

Till it, remove lg roots, add fertilizer according to tests, water, wait required time so fertilizer doesn't burn the seeds, seed, incorporate it & roll.

Will it have a source of water?

We start lawns all year long but I'm in CA.
Thanks for the reply. I forgot to mention in my original posts, yes I am going to do soil test. Quick question about that - you say test it in several areas. The soil test kit talks about taking samples from different areas and then mixing them all together and sending one sample in for testing. When you say test soil in several different areas, is that what you are talking about? Or do you recommend sending separate tests for each area?

I'm fairly new to lawn care. I've always had my lawn treated by a company (previous homes, not this one). I want to tend to the grass myself here.

So forgive my ignorance, add fertilizer before adding grass seed?

What do you mean by incorporate it and roll?

Also after tilling it, what about adding some kind of top soil with nutrients? Worth it?

Thanks again!
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Old 05-26-2018, 02:59 PM   #5
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Re: Where to start with this lawn


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Originally Posted by mihomeowner View Post
Thanks for the reply. I forgot to mention in my original posts, yes I am going to do soil test. Quick question about that - you say test it in several areas. The soil test kit talks about taking samples from different areas and then mixing them all together and sending one sample in for testing. When you say test soil in several different areas, is that what you are talking about? Or do you recommend sending separate tests for each area?

I'm fairly new to lawn care. I've always had my lawn treated by a company (previous homes, not this one). I want to tend to the grass myself here.

So forgive my ignorance, add fertilizer before adding grass seed?

What do you mean by incorporate it and roll?

Also after tilling it, what about adding some kind of top soil with nutrients? Worth it?

Thanks again!
I'm not a professional gardener, but have been growing lawns all my life.

Some prefer to use the lab for a soil test. I think they use the same chemicals. It does take patience, though, to use the hardware store one.

You have very different soil types on your land. The areas near the trees will probably have more nitrogen & be more acidic. More animal fertilizer, too. The top of the hill has been rained & snowed on for forever. That's why I think it will lack nutrients & be washed out of humus/acid/nitrogen.

Incorporating it is like stirring or cultivating.

I personally don't see the problem in starting now as it will take awhile. I think the hardest part is the tilling & root/ stuff removal. When to seed will depend on the soil temps & seed type.

It sounds like fun. Beautiful land. Great exercise, too.

Last edited by Nik333; 05-26-2018 at 03:02 PM.
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Old 05-26-2018, 03:07 PM   #6
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Re: Where to start with this lawn


You can amend the soil with organic material, but I'd test it first. Senior Sitizen has a simple test for soil ingredients. I'll try to find it if he doesn't see this. Bad connection on cell.
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Old 05-26-2018, 03:13 PM   #7
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Re: Where to start with this lawn


error

Last edited by Nik333; 05-26-2018 at 03:16 PM.
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Old 05-26-2018, 03:14 PM   #8
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Re: Where to start with this lawn


What is your irrigation system like ? Hopefully, you have a timer that can run the heads for 1-2 minutes, 5x a day to keep the seed damp. Do you have head to head coverage ?
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Old 05-26-2018, 04:16 PM   #9
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Re: Where to start with this lawn


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nik333 View Post
I'm not a professional gardener, but have been growing lawns all my life.

Some prefer to use the lab for a soil test. I think they use the same chemicals. It does take patience, though, to use the hardware store one.

You have very different soil types on your land. The areas near the trees will probably have more nitrogen & be more acidic. More animal fertilizer, too. The top of the hill has been rained & snowed on for forever. That's why I think it will lack nutrients & be washed out of humus/acid/nitrogen.

Incorporating it is like stirring or cultivating.

I personally don't see the problem in starting now as it will take awhile. I think the hardest part is the tilling & root/ stuff removal. When to seed will depend on the soil temps & seed type.

It sounds like fun. Beautiful land. Great exercise, too.

You can amend the soil with organic material, but I'd test it first. Senior Sitizen has a simple test for soil ingredients. I'll try to find it if he doesn't see this. Bad connection on cell.
Thanks again for your reply. I plan on sending my soil to the lab. But I just mix it all together? In your experience have you ever used different types of fertilizer in different parts of the lawn?

I plan to start over the summer with the tilling and rock removal. There are a lot of areas that need that.

But after the tilling I should fertilize before grass seed? The soil test will tell me what type/levels of fertilizer to purchase?
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Old 05-26-2018, 04:17 PM   #10
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Re: Where to start with this lawn


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Originally Posted by Cedrus View Post
What is your irrigation system like ? Hopefully, you have a timer that can run the heads for 1-2 minutes, 5x a day to keep the seed damp. Do you have head to head coverage ?
No irrigation. In our area, no one has it... and there are some nice looking lawns. Unless we are in a drought it should be fine. Had one at my previous house on a 1 acre lawn. loved it!!! This is about a 3 acre lawn so would be tough and probably not going to happen!
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Old 05-26-2018, 04:29 PM   #11
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Re: Where to start with this lawn


Quote:
Originally Posted by mihomeowner View Post
Thanks again for your reply. I plan on sending my soil to the lab. But I just mix it all together? In your experience have you ever used different types of fertilizer in different parts of the lawn?

I plan to start over the summer with the tilling and rock removal. There are a lot of areas that need that.

But after the tilling I should fertilize before grass seed? The soil test will tell me what type/levels of fertilizer to purchase?
I don't understand the logic behind mixing soil. Maybe that would work for a small flat lawn, but yours has such variety. . .But if the cost of the labs are a factor, start with the hill. Yes, I have all kinds of fertilizer. I like coffee grounds, but that would require drinking a lot of coffee!

I don't use the labs for soil tests. Perhaps someone else can answer.

Fertilizer can burn seedlings, so many incorporate it first.

Last edited by Nik333; 05-26-2018 at 04:33 PM.
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Old 05-27-2018, 12:17 AM   #12
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Re: Where to start with this lawn


I thought about this all day; I like this stuff.


This was an interesting thread. It was on raised beds but discusses soil amendments. Senior has an idea on soil that shows the makeup in a pickle jar.


http://www.diychatroom.com/f102/what...2/#post4189746

Once you see what it's makeup is, you can add organic material, etc.


Here's a University Ag soil testing site, in PA.


https://agsci.psu.edu/aasl

Last edited by Nik333; 05-27-2018 at 12:23 AM.
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