My Horrific "Lawn"


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Old 04-08-24, 08:19 AM
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My Horrific "Lawn"

Hello Everyone!

I'm almost embarrassed to post this, but over the last few years my lawn has been through a lot. Major construction projects in the back yard leading to the lawn being suffocated by clay and constant walking. The front was suffocated under leaves that weren't picked up one year because we got surprised by an early winter (lesson learned), and on top of that we have those white grubs chewing everything up.

I would like to address it this year, and I am strongly hoping that I can do this without having to pull everything up and lay down new sod. I also don't want to add a few inches of height to my land. If I take care of it, water it, and have a treatment plan for the white grubs and everything else, can I seed this into remission? If so, how do I go about it? Here are my questions:
  • I used to have a nice thick lawn before it got abused to this extent, meaning that I can assume I have quality soil. I know I would still need to add at least a thin layer of top soil on top of I'm reseeding - how much?
  • Would step 1 be to aerate by renting a machine?
  • Once I re-seed - how soon do I start treating for grubs?
  • Should I add fertilizer right from the beginning?

As you can see, I know nothing - so really any advice on how to proceed would be greatly appreciated. As soon as I have something that resembles a lawn, I plan to hire a lawn care company that comes a few times a year and does what they have to do, but at this point I don't think it's worth it.

Thanks in advance - you guys are the best!
Nic






Nic

 
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Old 04-08-24, 08:32 AM
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Lawns will typically take care of themselves if given a chance. Most cool season grasses spread on their own. So as long as you maintain them, keep weeds down, give proper water, don't abuse them, it will probably be fine.

Problem is people are impatient and want it to look good immediately. Which is why people put sod down.

I would not aerate until fall, if at all. A light raking, seeding, a little starter fertilizer (my go to is Scott's Turf Builder "built for seeding". It also helps keep weeds down... you can apply it 2x a year, I do I spring and fall. And light water as needed. And be patient. The only pests I worry about is moles, since they destroy a lawn fast. Here, you don't treat grubs until July. If you plant grass you can't spray weeds until mid summer so keep that in mind. It's why I prefer that starter fertilizer since it has a weed preventer that won't harm the new grass.
 
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Old 04-08-24, 10:04 AM
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Ok amazing thanks so much XSleeper, glad to see you're still kicking around here.

When you talk about light raking - are we talking light as in gently scraping with the type of rake you would use to pick up leaves, or something a bit more intense?

And then in terms of adding a new layer of soil - do I need to do that?

Thanks,
Nic
 

Last edited by stickshift; 04-09-24 at 03:49 PM. Reason: Removed unnecessary quoting of entire post
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Old 04-08-24, 10:46 AM
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I'd use a steel tined rake, something that will loosen the top layer of soil but go around any existing grass. The idea is just to loosen it up a bit when you seed. Seed won't grow if it's laying on TOP of the soil. Which is why you typically want to rake it in or lightly cover it with straw, peat moss, thin layer of soil. I would not be adding soil unless you have holes or dips. Seed, rake, water lightly daily, wait.
 
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Old 04-09-24, 11:36 AM
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Thank you.

Unfortunately that Turf Builder doesn't look like it's available in Canada! Do you think this would work instead? In terms of fertilizer it's 24-25-4 which is similar to the one you suggested, which has 21-22-4. Unfortunately it doesn't prevent weeds, but perhaps I can use that, survive the summer, and then put this down in the fall (because it's only for established grass)?
 
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Old 04-09-24, 01:57 PM
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Maybe. Or look for a similar Canadian product with the same active ingredient thats in the built for seeding product and in Tenacity, Mesotrione. Won't harm cool season grasses.
 
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Old 04-09-24, 03:27 PM
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Make sure you read the label if you use Tenacity (Mesotrione). It has some safety/use restrictions (in the US at least) that might seem unusual, like you can't plant anything else for 18 months after application and don't use the grass clippings as mulch.
 
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Old 04-09-24, 08:10 PM
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Anything else... Not sure that is completely accurate.

https://www3.epa.gov/pesticides/chem...7-20210521.pdf
 
 

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