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First time with lawn owner...dead grass everywhere

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  • Jul 6th, 2018 12:06 pm
[OP]
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Sep 4, 2007
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First time with lawn owner...dead grass everywhere

Got a small patch of lawn I have to take care of. It came with dead long grass covered everywhere, so I raked away a bit and what's left you can see in the pictures.
How do I go about fixing this and getting green grass again?

IMG_20180605_181743_127.jpg
IMG_20180605_181817_238.jpg
31 replies
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Mar 23, 2008
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Overseeding, top dressing, fertilizer and water. You might want to consider a power raking and aeration as well, first.

Doesn't look that weedy, so that's a good start!

C
[OP]
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CNeufeld wrote:
Jun 6th, 2018 2:43 pm
Overseeding, top dressing, fertilizer and water. You might want to consider a power raking and aeration as well, first.

Doesn't look that weedy, so that's a good start!

C
Thanks, I'm guessing I go in this exact order? lol havn't done lawn care before just learning the terms now ...
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Jul 5, 2004
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Cut it as short as you can, then rip out as much as you can. Stir up the soil, seed the hell out of it (try to get a layer of dirt over the seed) and it will grow. Fertilizer isn't necessary, grass grows just fine without fertilizer. You just need water and sun.
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Feb 9, 2006
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Looks like the sod didn't take to the dirt. I'd aerate and slit seed it personally. Ripping it out and reseeding does nearly the same thing but it's another step I think is unnecessary.
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LyGuy wrote:
Jun 7th, 2018 8:09 am
Thanks, I'm guessing I go in this exact order? lol havn't done lawn care before just learning the terms now ...
No, not in that order. Power raking and aeration first. Then the other 4. The slit seeding can replace the overseeding, if you want to. It actually puts the seed in the ground, as opposed to just laying on top.

C
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tebore wrote:
Jun 7th, 2018 8:27 am
Looks like the sod didn't take to the dirt. I'd aerate and slit seed it personally. Ripping it out and reseeding does nearly the same thing but it's another step I think is unnecessary.
It's not a big lawn, 200sf at the most. I'd need special tools to aerate and slit right? Wonder if I can get away with stabbing holes into the ground with a spade or something lol
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Shaner wrote:
Jun 7th, 2018 8:17 am
Cut it as short as you can, then rip out as much as you can. Stir up the soil, seed the hell out of it (try to get a layer of dirt over the seed) and it will grow. Fertilizer isn't necessary, grass grows just fine without fertilizer. You just need water and sun.
BTW how can I tell the type of grass I have? Do I need to match it with the seeds I buy?
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LyGuy wrote:
Jun 7th, 2018 9:58 am
It's not a big lawn, 200sf at the most. I'd need special tools to aerate and slit right? Wonder if I can get away with stabbing holes into the ground with a spade or something lol
You could try a good soaking watering, and then a pitchfork. Stab it in, wiggle, move on.

Instead of power raking, a good hard hand raking. You can get a dethatching rake, or a dethatching blade for your mower. No idea how well they work, though.

C
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LyGuy wrote:
Jun 7th, 2018 10:01 am
BTW how can I tell the type of grass I have? Do I need to match it with the seeds I buy?
Everyone's asking you to do so much physical work, while they are all correct. What I am proposing is actually very little work and possibly the best results and costs you the least amount of money.

See I am pretty sure your sod didn't adhere well to the soil and just died from maybe heat and lack of water. See if you can just peel that sod off with your hands. If you can, just peel it all off and junk it.

After that, just buy some new sod, some triple mix and put fresh sod back. Bam done.
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Based on what I see, and based on the lack of anything, you can either go buy new sod or overseed & grow it yourself. Either way, as others said, probably best at this point to rip it all out and start from scratch. Turn over the soil and then throw down some good triple mix (a good thick layer) as the base, then overseed like crazy & mix (or new sod). Water water water every day.... DO NOT fertilize as you don't want to kill any new grass.
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LyGuy wrote:
Jun 7th, 2018 10:01 am
BTW how can I tell the type of grass I have? Do I need to match it with the seeds I buy?
Doesn't really matter IMO. I prefer using Scott's grass seed. I don't use the coated seeds, I find that it's a waste of money. As previously mentioned, as long as you mix into some good dirt than it should grow with proper watering. I suggest you use triple mix at this point because it contains soil, peat moss and manure (natural fertilizer).

As for the rest of the crappy lawn, you're going to need to over seed like crazy and put a good layer of top soil on top. If you're lucky if will grow and hold into next year but to be honest, this may be a multiple year project. Took me 3-4yrs to get my lawn looking good after the sorry state the previous owner had it in (I also had to fight grubs.)
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Jun 6, 2011
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Ottawa
Shaner wrote:
Jun 7th, 2018 8:17 am
Cut it as short as you can, then rip out as much as you can. Stir up the soil, seed the hell out of it (try to get a layer of dirt over the seed) and it will grow. Fertilizer isn't necessary, grass grows just fine without fertilizer. You just need water and sun.
Hey I like what you're saying. I found a lot of people are trying to sell me on all sorts of additional stuff but I'm confident I can have decent success with just the basics. I didn't want to spend too much on this project and an not expecting a gorgeous lawn, just a nice soft turf my kids can play on.

My backyard looked a bit worse than op's; I ended up tilling the whole plot with a shovel and removing whatever I found, be it dead grass, living grass, weeds, rocks, stones, roots, tree stumps... I was actually blown away with how much crap was back there.

I just finished flipping/tilling the old soil yesterday and my next steps are to level it with a rake, add a lawyer of fresh black earth, and seed.

I bought 60 bags of the cheap black earth from Home Depot that occasionally drops to 88 cents a bag, and 2 bags of Scott's overseed mix which has seed and feed in one. I'd love some advice as I still have a few questions.

Do I seed and then spread the new black earth or do I spread the earth and toss the seed on top?

Should I buy or do anything else to best ensure success? I'm willing to spend a bit more to achieve a decent lawn.i already got a sprinkler and am ready to water often.

I want to mix in a bag of white clover in hopes or encouraging overall lawn health and lower maintenance. Is this a good idea?

Should I plant the grass first to give it a few weeks to grow and then spread the clover?

Cheers
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polish_jr333 wrote:
Jun 13th, 2018 11:58 pm
Hey I like what you're saying. I found a lot of people are trying to sell me on all sorts of additional stuff but I'm confident I can have decent success with just the basics. I didn't want to spend too much on this project and an not expecting a gorgeous lawn, just a nice soft turf my kids can play on.

My backyard looked a bit worse than op's; I ended up tilling the whole plot with a shovel and removing whatever I found, be it dead grass, living grass, weeds, rocks, stones, roots, tree stumps... I was actually blown away with how much crap was back there.

I just finished flipping/tilling the old soil yesterday and my next steps are to level it with a rake, add a lawyer of fresh black earth, and seed.

I bought 60 bags of the cheap black earth from Home Depot that occasionally drops to 88 cents a bag, and 2 bags of Scott's overseed mix which has seed and feed in one. I'd love some advice as I still have a few questions.

Do I seed and then spread the new black earth or do I spread the earth and toss the seed on top?

Should I buy or do anything else to best ensure success? I'm willing to spend a bit more to achieve a decent lawn.i already got a sprinkler and am ready to water often.

I want to mix in a bag of white clover in hopes or encouraging overall lawn health and lower maintenance. Is this a good idea?

Should I plant the grass first to give it a few weeks to grow and then spread the clover?

Cheers
Cheap black earth?
You just bought a whole bunch of overpriced filler that's filled with junk like weed seeds.
I did the same once. I ended up with Crab and quack grass from cheap black earth.

Going forward I stick with quality stuff.
For example if you're trying to save your lawn for the very first time.
https://www.fairgreensod.com/collection ... -for-shade

You can pay a little more for the above (the soil provided is more akin to triplemix [typically pricer than blackearth]) and they deliver to your door.
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Jun 6, 2011
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tebore wrote:
Jun 14th, 2018 10:41 am
Cheap black earth?
You just bought a whole bunch of overpriced filler that's filled with junk like weed seeds.
Oh I don't know about that, I did a bit of research and read through the RDF threads on the product. Most people's reviews of the stuff were "you get what you paid for" but generally positive and happy with the results.

rona-black-earth-25l-88-77-qc-2-days-on ... 5-2185501/

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