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Planting Grass - crokett™ - 05-18-2020

I am in eastern/central NC, so a lot of clay.  My yard is currently mostly weeds.  I want grass.  I don't plan to actually plant any grass until fall.  I've never been able to keep spring grass alive over the summer.  I'm wondering what a) the best strategy is and b) what I can/should be doing throughout the summer.    I'm not sure there's enough grass there to try and save, so Im thinking about just killing what's there and starting over.   Or, is it better to do repeat applications of one of the weedkiller/fertilizers over the summer?   If I end up spraying, how long do I need to wait until I can plant seed?  I plan to get a soil test kit and test the soil then start amending over the summer.


RE: Planting Grass - Cooler - 05-18-2020

My father got rid of weeds by buying high quality seeds and manually weeding.  Each year he over-seeded until the weeds were pushed out.

My neighbor across the street used to grow dandelions despite complaints from his neighbors.  Weed control was a fruitless effort.  He has since moved away and the new owners are trying to get rid of the dandelions. 

I continue to over-seed each spring, and my yard is improving. 

I have since found out that dandelion wine is prized by some and I suspect he was a drinker.

https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/dandelion-wine-51176210

Dandelions are the bane of many a homeowner's existence, but they can be transformed into the most delicious sunshine-filled liqueur (colloquially called wine) by making a dandelion tea and then letting it ferment with sugar and citrus. You will find yourself creeping into neighbors' yards to pick more blossoms, it's just that good.


RE: Planting Grass - vernonator - 05-18-2020

I have done exactly what you are over 3 acres. This spring/summer keep it mowed down so the weeds are less likely to go to seed. Then in mid august hit it with a broad sprectrum herbacide (Roundup) let that work for a couple weeks and then hit it again. If you can you then till the area and plant your seed late-aug/early-sept. In the spring use a broadleaf killer (2-4d) to keep the weeds down and over seed again in fall. It may take a couple cycles but it will come thru. If your soil is really bad think about having some amendments added depending upon the size of your lot. You may be surprised how cheap a truck load of composte/top-soil costs.


RE: Planting Grass - fredhargis - 05-18-2020

You can seed quickly after using Glyphosate, waiting 3 days is plenty, but the plants growing may not be dead for a week or so after you apply it. It's still what I would use. Depending on the size of your yard, I'd consider renting a Bobcat with one of those attachments that really break the top soil up for the seeding (sorry, can't remember what it's called). Check with the rental company, they'll know. But I wouldn't do anything until you're ready to kill what's there, then go at it full tilt.


RE: Planting Grass - Cooler - 05-18-2020

The first year I moved into my house (from an apartment) I put down manure.  It did no smell half as bad as I would have imagined.  It was "sterile" manure, the only type that will not have live seeds in the mess.

That turned out to be a huge mistake.  That first year I had to mow the lawn twice a week.  But if you want a very active lawn and you want it quick, manure sure gets the job done. 

Cow manure is supposed to be the best.  It should be cheaper than it is.  It is estimated that cows generate 2 billion tons of manure yearly. 

(That's 400,000,000,000 pounds)

https://www.westcoastseeds.com/blogs/garden-wisdom/poop-manure

If you order a delivery of manure and it smells upon arrival, it is unfinished, and needs to be stored (composted) before use.


RE: Planting Grass - Stwood_ - 05-18-2020

Have you thought about calling a sod company


RE: Planting Grass - JTTHECLOCKMAN - 05-18-2020

I would break up the soil and till it and then plant seed made for your area and then top coat with Peat Moss. I used peat moss last year and will never look back. Best thing for a lawn. Also needs water.


RE: Planting Grass - JosephP - 05-18-2020

Watering is key.

Killing it off is a good start if you don't like anything that is there.  Another vote for glyphosate...just plane old simple as it gets not "extended control" or "kills all season".  Give it a week to completely kill.  Spray on a day that is not too windy  (obviously) when the weeds are really growing well...upper 70s lower 80s plenty of moisture in the soil, lots of sun, early in the day at least a few hours before rain.

This is more expensive than other top soil options, but really helps hold nutrients: https://mirimichigreen.com/products/carbonizpn-soil-enhancer/ if there is somebody around who carries it.


RE: Planting Grass - crokett™ - 05-19-2020

(05-18-2020, 04:07 PM)Stwood_ Wrote: Have you thought about calling a sod company

yes. that was my wife's suggestion.     I need to measure the area and see what the bill would be.    if it isn't terrible I may go that route and/or do it in stages.   I have one other issue, which is part of my front yard is/was part of the original gravel road to get into the property, so I really need to scrape that stuff up and find some soil to back fill.  if I do go sod I will still work on amending the soil and killing the weeds that are there.


RE: Planting Grass - Cooler - 05-19-2020

Another option is the spray seed/fertilizer option.  I believe it is cheaper than sod and only about 6 weeks from looking good. (And no work for you.)

This article compares sod to hydroseeding (by a hydroseeding company so read with a critical mind).

https://www.crabgrasslawn.com/sod-vs-hydroseed/


https://www.bhg.com/gardening/yard/lawn-care/hydroseeding/