Need help with my UGLY backyard lawn

Old 05-01-17, 06:56 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 7
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Need help with my UGLY backyard lawn


Last year I removed all weed (there was lots) and dead grass in my backyard lawn. I live just outside of DC in Maryland. I covered the seeds with fresh lawn soil and straws. Only small area grew new grass. This year, I repeated the same process and most of the area could not grow much grass. I even added fertilizer. Definitely I am not Dr. Green Thumb. I bought another Scott grass seed water smart. I wanted to ask what can I do to better achieve success. I watered the seeds after work. Do I need to water more? Any help is appreciated. Thanks.

Name:  by.jpg
Views: 626
Size:  51.2 KB

Last edited by PJmax; 05-01-17 at 07:13 PM. Reason: reoriented/enhanced picture
Old 05-01-17, 08:52 PM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 20,233
Received 1,182 Likes on 1,140 Posts
Seeds need to be keep moist but not damp until they germinate. Around here, that tends to be two to three light waterings a day.

I would suggest a soil test as a next step.
Old 05-01-17, 09:25 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Oregon
Posts: 921
Received 22 Likes on 21 Posts
I humbly suggest you abandon a lawn and find something else.....
Old 05-02-17, 01:31 AM
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 21,110
Received 5 Likes on 5 Posts
In that area you should have decent soil. Did you till or at least break up and turn the soil before seeding? You shouldn't really cover the seeds. Mix the new soil in to the old. Spread seed and lightly rake it in. I never used straw when I had grass back in VA and my front yard looked like a golf course or a baseball infield. Beautiful lush green grass cut 3" high. Backyard, not so much, too many trees and too much shade. So I mulched most of it and put in paver pathways.

Straw has tons of weed seeds and can actually block the sun from warming the soil. It does help retain moisture, but as was stated prior, it needs 2-3 light waterings a day for at least 2 weeks or so, til the seed germinates. Not too heavy or it can wash seeds to the perimeter, which looks like it may have happened in your case. I used to water in the morning and late afternoon. Not too late or the moisture can cause rot of the seed. The surface should be dry
by sundown.

Personally I think it's a myth that birds will eat the seed without straw to hide it. They are just going after bugs in the freshly turned soil.

All that said, if that's the total size of the yard (or close to it), I would look at something other than grass as well. Expand the flower bed with a gently curved path to the grill area. Less maintenance and still green and colorful.
Old 05-02-17, 05:23 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 49,395
Received 720 Likes on 631 Posts
IF I remember correctly straw from the first cutting has less weed seeds in it. The biggest benefit from straw is it shades the new grass as it struggles to grow. Not sure about wild birds but I used to have chickens that run loose and it was senseless to try and seed anything with them running around as they ate the seed shortly after it was scattered.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: