The perfect lawn

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  #1  
Old 07-01-12, 06:56 PM
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The perfect lawn

This Saturday I'm going to rent a tiller and till my yard and plant grass from seed. Once I get the ground prepped to where I want it, what is the best way to plant the grass so I get really thick grass like you get when you buy sod? Is there a way to ensure I get a good lawn after it comes in? Certain amount of watering? Fertilizer?

Thanks.
 
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  #2  
Old 07-01-12, 08:55 PM
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After you till, grade it out and add a quality soil amendment or compost and level it out with a slight grade. Spread some 5-10-10, water it well and wait a few days. Spread your seed and cover it with 1/8 to 1/4 inch of amendment. Keep seed damp but not soggy wet until it sprouts. Talk to someone in your area about the brand and makeup of your seed. If you have shade you need lawn seed that can take some shade.

After your new lawn comes up weak and patchy, cover it with thick sod.
 
  #3  
Old 07-02-12, 03:45 AM
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I would also consider a light layer of wheat straw to keep it all from washing away and to protect the seedlings from the sun. NOT hay, as it still has seeds in it and your lawn will look like a hay field. Wheat straw generally has all the seeds removed (for milling purposes) and only provides the protection you need. It will biodegrade naturally.
 
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Old 07-02-12, 06:04 AM
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Seed does not come in lush and strong - if you want that right away, then plant sod.

That said, YaddaYadda did give you good advice for how to get good seed results.

I've never added straw but for large areas it is a good idea.
 
  #5  
Old 07-02-12, 08:48 AM
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I think you are picking the one of the worse possible times to plant a lawn - at least in my area. With that said, I understand sometimes you gotta' do what you gotta' do. Just don't expect a lush lawn this year.

YadaYada and Mitch17 had good advice. I would add a couple of things. I would test the soil PH and add amendments as needed. I would also use a starter fertilizer. If you top dress the lawn after seeding you won't need straw to protect the seeds. I would suggest a light rolling after top dressing to make sure you get good soil contact.

In my area the most important things about getting a new lawn established putting down the right seed and water, water, water. By that I don't mean drowning the lawn, but water daily according to the seed direction and don't quit watering once the lawn starts to come in. Follow a regular watering schedule for the rest of the year.

Don't be surprised if your lawn comes in a bit patchy at first. If it does just overseed again after the first mowing.
 
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Old 07-02-12, 09:17 AM
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I think you are picking the one of the worse possible times to plant a lawn - at least in my area.
That's my thinking also, it might be better to wait until the end of summer to plant a new lawn. But if you water it enough, it might do ok.
 
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Old 07-02-12, 09:25 AM
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I just noticed your state being Colorado. I'm not one for watching the news but aren't you having record temperatures out there? There are temperatures above which the grass really stops growing and that is absolutely not the time to be seeding. If you don't need to mow any grass you already have, I would wait for cooler temps before seeding.
 
  #8  
Old 07-02-12, 10:18 AM
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Wayne Mitchell added what I forgot: A soil test and a light rolling will help a lot.
 
  #9  
Old 07-02-12, 12:30 PM
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OK, so don't get me wrong with this question in that I understand you are trying to help but I question if it's too hot out. I have read 3 different articles about the sun and temp for planting grass and none of them mention the outside temp, they all talk about the temp of the ground. I realize the outside temp will change the ground temp but it seems, from what I have read, that my ground temp is fine for growing grass. I was just preparing on using more water than usual to get things growing.
 
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Old 07-02-12, 12:46 PM
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Sounds good, let us know how this works out for you.
 
  #11  
Old 07-02-12, 01:49 PM
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IF your redoing the yard you might want to consider installing an irrigation system. Watering it regularly will really help get a good, thick, lawn. I bet the cost for an average sized yard would bet about $1200. Call around and get some quotes or DIY it!
 
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Old 07-02-12, 02:00 PM
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the outside temp
Ground temperature won't help the stalk once it emerges. It is "outside" at that point and vulnerable to high heat.
 
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Old 07-02-12, 02:15 PM
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As Larry said...ground temp is more for good seed germination and to prevent frost damage of the sprouts.

Until the seeds get a good root system...they are very susceptible to hot temps.
 
  #14  
Old 07-02-12, 02:38 PM
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I agree with Larry. Once that blade of grass pops up and gets a taste of midsummer daytime temps it might just decide to shrink back into the ground.
 
  #15  
Old 07-30-12, 07:35 AM
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Well, looks like it turned out pretty good, I am just about ready to cut it for the first time. This was 100% bare just a few weeks ago - http://i.imgur.com/7JwoQ.jpg
 
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Old 07-30-12, 07:37 AM
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Looks pretty good, thanks for the update
 
  #17  
Old 07-30-12, 08:29 AM
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Make sure your mower blade is SHARP, sharp.........sharp.
 
  #18  
Old 07-30-12, 12:47 PM
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Thanks, I will make sure and sharpen the blade.

And thanks to everyone who chimed in with this thread, whatever I did, looks like I did it right
 
  #19  
Old 07-30-12, 01:22 PM
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Buy an extra blade and keep it sharp so you can mow when necessary and then sharpen the other blade when convenient, because grass and weather do not wait and both blades will last longer.

Dick
 
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