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Lawn & Garden

Small lawn in need of help...badly.

Good afternoon,

I have a small lawn about 600 sq ft.  I roto-tilled and resodded, years ago as it was all weeds.  Well going in and doing it sans advice got back to square 1.  It is 100% weeds and jsut looks terrible.  I need to start from scratch but do it correctly this time. About a 1/4 of it is almost always in the shade.  Where do I begin?  Do I dump a ton of weed killer on it, then rototill it?  Do I try to pluck out hwat seems like a million weeds?  Do I Rototill it then rake up all the weeds?  I really need a bit of guidance.  I'm not afraid of doing he work as long as the end result is worth it.  Thanks for your time.


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Posted 2015-04-10T20:40:56+0000  by Carter1129 Carter1129

Hi Chris.


Thank you for your question.  Rototilling is good but only after you have gotten rid of the weeds.  If you just rototill the weeds under, and rake up the debris you will have a bunch of weeds seeds just waiting to grow once you start to water.


I would use a tilling fork/garden fork and carefully dig up the weeds first.  Once the weeds have been removed, add a good quality soil amendment.  What is available will depend on where you live.  It is recommended that you put about 3-4 inches of a good quality soil amendment on top of the soil and then rototill it in to a depth of about 6-8 inches.


This is a good time to put in your sprinkler lines as well.  Be sure to set the in at least 10-12 inches or below your frost line.


Are you planning on using seed or sod???   If you use seed, you can mix a part sun/shade seed mix into areas that have less than 4-6 hours of morning sun.  Afternoon sun, even 4-6 hours of it is considered to be full sun since it is the hotter part of the day.

Once you have finished your soil preparation, you will need to add about 1/2 - 1 inch of a good quality topper.  The better the quality of topper the fewer weeds seeds it will have.  For sod or seed, regular water will be required for the first week to ten days, especially for the sod.  

I like to use the deep watering technique for my lawn.  Once your lawn is established, try watering 20-30 minutes once a week - 10 days.  Deep watering will help the roots seek the deeper moisture rather than hanging around on the surface, 1-2 inches below.

After your lawn is established, you will want to use a weed and feed or other weed control on a regular basis to help keep the broad leafed weeds under control.  Weed seed  can be blown into your yard, carried by birds, dogs, other critters, your gardner and any visitors that happen to stroll by.

Be sure to take pictures of your project and share them with us.  Please let us know if you have any further questions.


Posted 2015-04-10T22:39:37+0000  by Rick_HD_OC
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