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Lawn advise

I need to start my front lawn over from scratch. It’s about 1,000 sq ft. 2 years ago we had a new septic put in. The contractor had to tear up that entire lawn and when he was done he laid down loam and seeded it. The grass that grew back was terrible. 90% weeds, very patchy, crappy dirt. I’m on a very tight budget for this project. Originally was going to rent a sod remover but the closest rental place is over an hour away. Half my time of the rental would be spent in picking up and returning the machine. I researched more online and thought Round Up is the way to go. Kill it all and then start over. So I read to spray it and once it’s all dead rake it all up. Should I next use a tiller to mix up the existing soil and should I add some soil conditioner? If so what kind? I basically need to keep the soil I have but try to make it healthier and then re-seed. To get new loam it was going to cost me $400 with delivery and I just don’t have that budget for this. Clearly I have never done this before and need all the advise I can get! Thank you! 
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Posted 2018-05-18T14:50:37+0000  by MamaBourg MamaBourg

Howdy MamaBourg,

There are many ways to install a new lawn as you have stated above. Here is a method that is cost effective and works well.

First start by removing the old lawn by renting a rototiller and breaking up the soil while also grinding up the organic matter into the soil.

Next, water the area you just rototilled to wake up; grass, weeds, and other seeds.

After about 2-3 days you will see the newly germinated seeds. This is the time to spray the newly germinated grass and weeds with a vegetation killer such as Round Up.

After 10 days you are ready to start planting.


Remove large rocks and debris, fill in low spots, and if your soil is compacted, work it over with a tiller. Your goal is to break the soil down to pea- or marble-sized particles, which will serve as a welcome mat for the grass seed.


You don't want peaks and valleys in your new lawn. Use a bow rake (also called a garden rake) to make the surface as even as possible. As you rake, remove any rocks or debris you come across. At this point, you might be tempted to bring in new topsoil. That's not a good idea, since it may contain weed seeds that are tough to control.  

Once your soil is prepped, it’s time to seed your new lawn. At the same time, it’s important to give your new grass seedlings a head start by feeding them. With a granular lawn food specially formulated for new grass, like Topper. 



Different types of grass seed and fertilizer require different spreader settings for optimal coverage. Check the bag to make sure you’re choosing the right setting for your individual spreader. Apply the product to the perimeter first, which allows you to fill in the rest of the lawn without worrying about missing any of the edges. Similar to a mowing pattern, seed and feed your lawn with slightly overlapping passes. Avoid getting grass seed or fertilizer in your garden beds or on your sidewalk or driveway.



After you finish laying down the grass seed, cover with a thin layer of "Topper" to help keep the grass seed from drying out and washing away. You can do this by laying down a thin layer of over the seeded area and gently dragging the back of a rake over it. 

When watering a newly seeded lawn, the key is to keep the top inch of soil consistently moist, but not soggy. You will likely need to mist the seeded area once a day, possibly more if it’s hot and dry outside. 


Once the seeds start to germinate, aim to keep the top 2 inches of soil moist until the new grass reaches a mowing height of around 3 inches. After that, reduce watering to about twice per week, soaking the soil more deeply (about 6 to 8 inches) each time to encourage grass roots to grow down deep in the soil.



Once your new lawn reaches a mowing height of at least 3 inches, you’ll want to cut it. Make sure you only remove the top 1/3 of the grass blades when you mow. Adjust your mower to a high setting to keep the lawn nice and thick; when you cut it too short, it weakens the grass, allowing weeds to sneak in. While the grass is still new and developing, avoid as much foot traffic on the lawn as possible. After 6 to 8 weeks, you can start a regular lawn fertilizer program to help keep your new grass thick and lush.




That is my recommendations for installing a new lawn,


happy growing,

Coach Dave

Posted 2018-05-21T20:15:58+0000  by Dave_HD_OC
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