Rebuilding my lawn (Western New York).


Old 06-26-14, 08:37 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 428
Rebuilding my lawn (Western New York).

The house in which I currently live will become income property in a few years, so I would like to make this as low maintenance as possible. Which is a shame, because it seems perfect for a sprinkler system and giant deck.

My lawn is presently made up of very little grass and lots of weeds. Due to grading issues, I thought that I might need to bring in about ten yards of topsoil, but now I think that I have enough soil, it's just in the wrong spots. I'm also reluctant to bring in more soil because I have an old house with a basement entrance right at ground level; bringing more soil to the house will just create a place for water to pool and enter the home. This same issue exists for the stone pathway leading to the front door and a concrete pad at the kitchen entrance; they both result in lots of standing water because the soil is above the stone/concrete.

I would like some guidance on how to go about this task. Please treat me as if I have never done this before.

My thoughts are;
1) Spray Round-up
2) Wait a week and spray it again
3) Call to see where any lines are buried
4) Rent a roto-tiller and loosen/till everything
5) Transfer soil around the property to allow for proper grading (including tearing up boards in front porch so I can get soil under there)
6) Get some sort of yard roller?
7) Spread grass seed
8) Get hay or straw or something to spread?
9) Water as directed

I believe I'm supposed to spread the seed in early September, so I would start this process in late August. OR, I can do this at any time and get sod instead, but that will be about $1,500 for just the sod.

Are any parts of this just not worth it for a single person to do and should be contracted out instead?

Thank you
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Old 06-26-14, 09:05 AM
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Sounds like a plan although I'm not sure that a roller is needed if you sow seed instead of laying sod.
It can all be done diy, a lot depends on how much time and effort you can devote to the project.

While can vary greatly in different locations, top soil doesn't always run deep and the dirt under the top soil may not be great for getting grass to grow. Not a big deal providing you keep that in mind and don't scrape off too much top soil to fill in the low spots.
Old 06-26-14, 09:11 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 428
I'll keep the whole dirt vs. topsoil thing in mind.

I was under the impression that rolling was useful for this to help the lawn not be a bumpy mess when completed (a welcome change). Are you suggesting that normal raking while seeding would be enough?
Old 06-26-14, 09:15 AM
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Step 2: I would wait two weeks before spraying again
Step 6: I've never seen the need for this; I like to use a drag but a rake will work as well to even out the dirt

Yes, you would want to plant the seed after the peak of the summer heat - around here it's late August to early September.
Old 06-26-14, 10:03 AM
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Location: USA
Posts: 44,498
While compacting some of the fill might be helpful, as a general rule - compacted soil doesn't grow as well as soil that is looser.

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