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Default Lawn Help

Ok, year #2 in the beautiful newly built house in the NE with the
crappy lawn. Builder half-assed it and the lawn is sparse with a lot
of crabgrass. I don't need a "home and garden" lawn but I'd like some
grass !
Questions:

1. My thought is to use a slit-seeder rented from home depot since
previous attempts by just chucking down seed and watering has failed.
Make sense? Other ideas?

2. Is now a good time to seed or should I wait 2 weeks or a month?

Thanks for your guidance!
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Ok, year #2 in the beautiful newly built house in the NE with the
crappy lawn. Builder half-assed it and the lawn is sparse with a lot
of crabgrass. I don't need a "home and garden" lawn but I'd like some
grass !
Questions:

1. My thought is to use a slit-seeder rented from home depot since
previous attempts by just chucking down seed and watering has failed.
Make sense? Other ideas?

2. Is now a good time to seed or should I wait 2 weeks or a month?

Thanks for your guidance!


Early Fall late Summer is the proper time to plant so that the grass grows
roots not top growth. If you seed now you can not use a crabicide.

If I were in your place I would treat for crabgrass, feed it well and hope
it fills in some, kill weeds all summer a seed heavy in the fall. You need
8-10 weeks of growing before the heavy frost to get established.


--
Colbyt
Please come visit www.househomerepair.com


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wrote:

Ok, year #2 in the beautiful newly built house in the NE with the
crappy lawn. Builder half-assed it and the lawn is sparse with a lot
of crabgrass. I don't need a "home and garden" lawn but I'd like some
grass !
Questions:

1. My thought is to use a slit-seeder rented from home depot since
previous attempts by just chucking down seed and watering has failed.
Make sense? Other ideas?

2. Is now a good time to seed or should I wait 2 weeks or a month?

Thanks for your guidance!


The best resource I have found for my Florida lawn/gardening questions
is through the U. of
Florida extension service. Your county or, at least, your state,
probably have the same. You
might save yourself a lot of grief, some money and considerable effort
by using extension
service.

Early April in the north is likely too early you don't want a freeze
after new seelings emerge. Fall seeding, or later in the spring, is
better. Depending
on what your builder left for you, you might want to look at either
scraping away the whole mess or
putting down sod. Did you get topsoil with sufficient depth? Any sod?
Got a plan for the whole
plot? How much area? Planting islands of something other than grass
might be more attractive and less work.

Crabgrass, unless you remove it by hand, should be treated with
pre-emergent herbicide. The
timing is crucial and the products are not enviro-friendly. It is
probably the toughest weed to get
rid of, but it can be done. With a lot of bare soil, you are inviting
weed seed to germinate, so
be prepared to treat other weeds later.....broadleaf herbicides
generally are effective used one
time, assuming there is grass to fill in. Spot treating later, along
with some hand weeding, after
all-over treatment, can often keep them down to manageable levels.
Proper mowing and
watering also help a good deal in keeping weeds down.
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First thing is a soil test.
You especially want to adjust the pH towards neutral as soils tend
towards acid in the northeast.
Look in your phone book government pages for a cooperative extension
service, most will test your soil for a nominal fee.

As for seeding, seed tends to rot in the spring as the soil temps are
low.
Adjust your pH and fertility issues first and in the interim set your
mower to cut as high as you can, the existing turfgrass can choke out
the weeds if you let it grow a bit higher.
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On Apr 7, 6:21*pm, beecrofter wrote:
First thing is a soil test.
You especially want to adjust the pH towards neutral as soils tend
towards acid in the northeast.
Look in your phone book government pages for a cooperative extension
service, most will test your soil for a nominal fee.

As for seeding, seed tends to rot in the spring as the soil temps are
low.
Adjust your pH and fertility issues first and in the interim set your
mower to cut as high as you can, the existing turfgrass can choke out
the weeds if you let it grow a bit higher.


You can seed in Spring and the seed isn't going to rot. If seed
rotted that easy, grass wouldn't survive on it's own. It takes soil
temps in the 50s to germinate, which roughly translates into daytime
temps in the 60's. But as another poster pointed out, Sept is the
optimum time to seed. Then you have cooler weather, it's usually
rainy, competition from weeds is greatly reduced, and you have 10
months for the grass to get established before it gets hit with the
high temps and stress of Summer, which is particularly important if
you have limited ability to water.

If you seed in Spring, you need to be able to apply a lot of water to
keep it wet to germinate and also during the hot summer months if
there is no rain. You also can't use a conventional pre-emergent
crabgrass control. There are others available, like Tupersan, but
they do cost more.

I'd probably do with the advice to apply pre-emergent and fertilizer
now, then follow up with weed conrol. Usually spot treatment with a
tank sprayer minimizes the use of herbicide and delivers it on
target.

Then, in Sept, you can use the slice seeder, Depending on how much
good grass there is, you may also want to just kill the whole thing
then with Roundup and re-seed with a quality grass of the appropriate
type. If the lawn is a wreck, that approach can be more effective,
than trying to salvage a lawn with some half-ass grass that may be of
pure texture, color, disease prone, etc.

Also, as suggested, check and adjust the PH as needed. And make sure
you have 6+" of decent topsoil.


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On Apr 7, 3:16*pm, wrote:
Ok, year #2 in the beautiful newly built house in the NE with the
crappy lawn. *Builder half-assed it and the lawn is sparse with a lot
of crabgrass. *I don't need a "home and garden" lawn but I'd like some
grass !


Lots of good advice in the posts here, but lets get down to the
basics: 1) Most of the soil in NE is absolutely terrible. 2) Too many
new houses (and likely yours) are built on graded subdivision land
where the already pitiful topsoil is carted away since it interferes
with getting the structure built. 3) Weeds will grow on almost
anything that isn't impermeable rock and that's what you now have.
Given these conditions, you first need to truck in some decent
topsoil, like something from an ancient woodlot that has been
clearcut. Lawn services will siphon off your money for years dumping
chemicals on your sterile surface, and a decade hence you will still
not have a stable topsoil. If the budget is slim, buy topsoil annually
to improve selected areas and let it build up to a nice 6" over time.
Then check prices on sod at the box store and put it down quickly to
protect the precious topsoil. Feed it. weed it, trim it high and
expect to spend three or more years getting it in the shape you want.
It will be an exercise in persistence, so good luck.

Joe




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wrote in news:793bb731-b47b-47b2-b427-b4b282adc093
@y21g2000hsf.googlegroups.com:

Ok, year #2 in the beautiful newly built house in the NE with the
crappy lawn. Builder half-assed it and the lawn is sparse with a lot
of crabgrass. I don't need a "home and garden" lawn but I'd like some
grass !
Questions:

1. My thought is to use a slit-seeder rented from home depot since
previous attempts by just chucking down seed and watering has failed.
Make sense? Other ideas?

2. Is now a good time to seed or should I wait 2 weeks or a month?

Thanks for your guidance!


I went throught a similar experience in my new house in south central Pa.
just three years ago . The top soil was basically turned under during the
building process. So, the real problem is lack of fertile soil for the
grass seed to get off to a good start. I had a soil test done at the
local extension office. They recommended the type of grass seed (Kentucky
Bluegrass) for my locale, and they said to use a starter fertilizer when
I seeded, and to follow up with continued use of the starter fertilizer
over the next three years, during the early spring, early summer, and
late fall. Worked out great. Important steps a

Get the right grass seed for your area;
Use the correct starter fertilizer and apply it when you seed (expensive
step, but if you don't do it the grass seed won't germinate in the poor
soil);
Insure good seed and soil contact; e.g. rake, cultivate, or use a slit
seeder, etc.;
Continue to fertilize poor soil for several years;

Be patient; it will grow and then you can spend a lot of time cutting it
:-)
If you seed in the spring and don't get enough rain to get that instant
lush lawn, don't fret about it over the summer. It will grow in the fall.
Oh yea, about the weeds; I wasn't to concerned with them. For the most
part they are green and will help to keep down erosion untill the lawn is
established, then you can attack the weed problems. But, if weeds do
really bother you and the current lawn isn't worth saving, spray the
whole area with roundup and start over.
Good luck!

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On Apr 8, 10:16*am, TomC wrote:
wrote in news:793bb731-b47b-47b2-b427-b4b282adc093
@y21g2000hsf.googlegroups.com:

Ok, year #2 in the beautiful newly built house in the NE with the
crappy lawn. *Builder half-assed it and the lawn is sparse with a lot
of crabgrass. *I don't need a "home and garden" lawn but I'd like some
grass !
Questions:


1. My thought is to use a slit-seeder rented from home depot since
previous attempts by just chucking down seed and watering has failed.
Make sense? *Other ideas?


2. Is now a good time to seed or should I wait 2 weeks or a month?


Thanks for your guidance!


I went throught a similar experience in my new house in south central Pa.
just three years ago . The top soil was basically turned under during the
building process. So, the real problem is lack of fertile soil for the
grass seed to get off to a good start. I had a soil test done at the
local extension office. They recommended the type of grass seed (Kentucky
Bluegrass) for my locale, and they said to use a starter fertilizer when
I seeded, and to follow up with continued use of the starter fertilizer
over the next three years, during the early spring, early summer, and
late fall. Worked out great. Important steps a

Get the right grass seed for your area;
Use the correct starter fertilizer and apply it when you seed (expensive
step, but if you don't do it the grass seed won't germinate in the poor
soil);


What's supposed to be expensive about applying starter fertilizer?
It's about the same price as any other fertilizer. You can do a
10,000 sq ft lawn for $20



Insure good seed and soil contact; e.g. rake, cultivate, or use a slit
seeder, etc.;
Continue to fertilize poor soil for several years;


To make most lawns look good and like the typical lawn people want,
you'll need to fertilize every year. Kentucky bluegrass is one of the
high maintenance lawns that requires more nitrogen.




Be patient; it will grow and then you can spend a lot of time cutting it
:-)
If you seed in the spring and don't get enough rain to get that instant
lush lawn, don't fret about it over the summer. It will grow in the fall.


When you seed, you're surely not going to get a lush lawn for many
months, with or without rain. And if you don't get enough rain when
seeded, it will die, either right then, or later in the heat of summer
because it doesn't have an established root system to sustain it
through dry spells. When seeded, it needs to be kept constantly
moist, which is nearly impossible if you're relying on rain. In
short, if you can't irrigate a lawn, you're likely wasting a lot of
time trying to establish a lawn from seed in Spring. In Fall, your
chances are much better.



Oh yea, about the weeds; I wasn't to concerned with them. For the most
part they are green and will help to keep down erosion untill the lawn is
established, then you can attack the weed problems. But, if weeds do
really bother you and the current lawn isn't worth saving, spray the
whole area with roundup and start over.
Good luck!


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wrote in message
...
On Apr 8, 10:16 am, TomC wrote:
wrote in news:793bb731-b47b-47b2-b427-b4b282adc093
@y21g2000hsf.googlegroups.com:

Ok, year #2 in the beautiful newly built house in the NE with the
crappy lawn. Builder half-assed it and the lawn is sparse with a lot
of crabgrass. I don't need a "home and garden" lawn but I'd like some
grass !
Questions:


1. My thought is to use a slit-seeder rented from home depot since
previous attempts by just chucking down seed and watering has failed.
Make sense? Other ideas?


2. Is now a good time to seed or should I wait 2 weeks or a month?


Thanks for your guidance!


I went throught a similar experience in my new house in south central Pa.
just three years ago . The top soil was basically turned under during the
building process. So, the real problem is lack of fertile soil for the
grass seed to get off to a good start. I had a soil test done at the
local extension office. They recommended the type of grass seed (Kentucky
Bluegrass) for my locale, and they said to use a starter fertilizer when
I seeded, and to follow up with continued use of the starter fertilizer
over the next three years, during the early spring, early summer, and
late fall. Worked out great. Important steps a

Get the right grass seed for your area;
Use the correct starter fertilizer and apply it when you seed (expensive
step, but if you don't do it the grass seed won't germinate in the poor
soil);


What's supposed to be expensive about applying starter fertilizer?
It's about the same price as any other fertilizer. You can do a
10,000 sq ft lawn for $20



Insure good seed and soil contact; e.g. rake, cultivate, or use a slit
seeder, etc.;
Continue to fertilize poor soil for several years;


To make most lawns look good and like the typical lawn people want,
you'll need to fertilize every year. Kentucky bluegrass is one of the
high maintenance lawns that requires more nitrogen.




Be patient; it will grow and then you can spend a lot of time cutting it
:-)
If you seed in the spring and don't get enough rain to get that instant
lush lawn, don't fret about it over the summer. It will grow in the fall.


When you seed, you're surely not going to get a lush lawn for many
months, with or without rain. And if you don't get enough rain when
seeded, it will die, either right then, or later in the heat of summer
because it doesn't have an established root system to sustain it
through dry spells. When seeded, it needs to be kept constantly
moist, which is nearly impossible if you're relying on rain. In
short, if you can't irrigate a lawn, you're likely wasting a lot of
time trying to establish a lawn from seed in Spring. In Fall, your
chances are much better.


I set up a sprinkler on a hose with an electricic timer that allows me to have
it turn on for 5-10 minutes 3 times a day to keep it damp (not soaked)until the
seed sprouts. This has worked very well for me.


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I would get the soil analyzed. I suspect you don't have good top
soil. The site may have been a parking lot, a waste dump, or a
fill site. Find out what your soil requires before spending more
money on chemicals, seed, and water.

--
______________________________
Keep the whole world singing . . . .
DanG (remove the sevens)




wrote in message
...
Ok, year #2 in the beautiful newly built house in the NE with
the
crappy lawn. Builder half-assed it and the lawn is sparse with
a lot
of crabgrass. I don't need a "home and garden" lawn but I'd
like some
grass !
Questions:

1. My thought is to use a slit-seeder rented from home depot
since
previous attempts by just chucking down seed and watering has
failed.
Make sense? Other ideas?

2. Is now a good time to seed or should I wait 2 weeks or a
month?

Thanks for your guidance!



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