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Aerating and reseeding my lawn

     I will be putting my house on the market in a few months, and there are some things I have to do now. Last year I had some trouble with water getting into the house, and I took care that issue, but the remaining problem is that I had to remove some shrubs, and I had to use some chemicals to do it. Right now there is a huge bare spot on the front side of my house that goes out around 6 feet. I spoke to someone at the local home depot, and they said that I could dig down around 2 inches, add some new topsoil, fertilizer, and then seed. However I also my want to plant some more shrubs as well.
     There are also some real patchy spots in lawn, and the area near the road and curb has become bare, for a good 1-3 feet in certain  ares. I am considering renting a core aerator from the local Home Depot, and I also found some info about a broadcast spreader. I found some videos from The Home Depot on youtube, that look good, but I m not sure if I want to do my entire lawn, and I am looking for a quick fix, because I want to put the house on the market in  couple of month. I am also not sure if I want to use the core aerator on the area where I put the chemicals. I wish I could include some photos.
      It would be good if someone could post something that will tell me what I need to rent/buy. I realize that the fall might have been the best time to do this, but I donate have a choice, and right now we are getting a lot of rainy cool weather in CT.
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Posted 2019-05-13T16:32:00+0000  by Skyreacher Skyreacher
Hello Skyreacher.  Welcome to the Community.

Last year you applied "some chemicals" to kill shrubs and now there is a 6 foot wide bare spot along the front of your house.  I would think that by now at least weeds would be sprouting in that area.  If not then what chemical did you use to kill the shrubs?  Any chemical labeled extended control can "sterilize" the soil for up to one whole year, preventing any plant from growing there.  There is no way to neutralize the soil without removing and replacing it.  If weeds are growing or you know what chemical was used and it was not a ground sterilizer then what your Home Depot associate said makes sense.  Let us know what brush killer you used and maybe we can help you further.

Lawn areas near the road/curb can suffer both from excessive heat and winter snow salt plowed off the road.  The best solution to fix that area would be to apply some gypsum, starter fertilizer and reseed the area with turf grass seed.  A blend of perennial bluegrass, rye and fescue will bring the best results.  Avoid any mix with annual grass seed.  You can also overseed the small patchy spots in the rest of your lawn, either by hand or with a spreader. If you plan on moving from your current home to a new house, then just buy a lawn spreader.  They last for many years and are not at all expensive.  Lightly water the newly seeded areas daily for about 2 weeks for best germination quality.

To get your new seed off to the good start, till the large bare areas to a depth of 4-5 inches first.  That tiller may also come in handy to break up the soil in the bare area in front of the house.  Rather than rent an aerator, I would rent a tiller.  Using an aerator to improve an existing lawn is a fine idea, but I think you have bigger fish to fry for now.



Posted 2019-05-21T14:35:23+0000  by Chris_HD_CHI

Greetings Skyreacher,

Do not get overwhelmed, it seems that you are working hard towards making your home a desirable purchase for all the potential buyers in in your area. 

Correcting a water source problem is essential, and if the lawn and landscape problems are disclosed as the results of new pipes and proper plumbing I am sure that everyone that is viewing the house will take that into consideration.

I know that curb appeal is the first thing buyers look at so I understand your desire to make it all look right. I am with Chris; if you see nothing coming up at all in the spot that you treated and excavated your soil may be sterilized, so restore that area. I suggest digging down and removing at least the  amount of soil you think you treated....If you repeatedly poured chemicals to kill roots in that area the contamination may be deep, only you know that replace that area with fresh garden soil, the plant the shrubs and also seed.

I was also thinking that you could, and this for just staging purposes, plant the shrubs in their container keeping them safe from the sterilizing soil...this is just a quick fix, and you may need to disclose that on the inspection.. You could also extend the garden bed with the new shrubs out a bit and cut a new garden edge and create a larger garden silhouette with a nice deep edge and beautiful new mulch.

Add a few focal points a bird bath, maybe a large stone, add a good size planter with gorgeous, fresh annuals and perennials, perhaps paint the planter to match the front door color. 

The restrictions of planting in the garden and seeding will be only temporary (as the soil recovers) the new home owner can seed in the Autumn. Clean up the patches in the lawn by with fresh seed I recommend Pennington Northeast Blend, I have only had great feedback on that seed within the Boston area, customers love it! 

Mow you existing lawn before the application of new seed, then scrape-rake the bald areas deep create a defined area to be seeded, make it a large circular area or a square. Be generous with the seed and make sure to scatter some seed beyond the margins of the spot that you are reseeding to make sure it will blend into the existing lawn. Water the areas daily for several weeks. Keep and eye on the newly seeded spots and do not mow over them for several weeks, let the seed emerge and the blades get strong before you cut them. You will be amazed the new areas will catch up in growth and blend in.

Starter fertilize would help the new turf.....but I feel like there is enough question with your soil and adding more fertilizer at this point may not have the best results, that is your call.

The spring up here in the Northeast has been wet so I believe that is an advantage for you to help wash the soil of the herbicides that you applied last year but you can not know that for sure, so doing everything you can to make the landscape look appealing is what you need to accomplish.

Like Chris, I do not think you need an aerator, in fact I would get a good pitch fork, a steel rake  and turn the areas in the lawn by hand, save your money for a few embellishments and focal points along with some outstanding shrubs and flowers and maybe a great planter.

Buyers that are looking for a home that has good bones and is filled with promise! You have given the house new and reliable plumbing and an update water source system...that is very important! The yard, the landscape is always going to be evolving, full of possibilities and promise, the buyers should know that.

If you do plant the shrubs in the pots let the buyers know that they can be planted in the autumn(once the soil is rstored) and that the shrubs need to be watered at the base of the trunk until they go into the ground.

Good luck with everything, I hope these answers help you as you get ready to sell your home, send us some picture we would love to see some before and after shots, and we can help even more if we can view some images.

All the best,

Easy exterior updates fired up close knit

Posted 2019-05-23T13:07:45+0000  by Maureen_HD_BOS
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