Yard Guys- How do you Prep for Grass?

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  1. 66fyssh

    66fyssh Don't Stop Believin' FABO Gold Member

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    I don't mind working in the yard, I'm just not very knowledgeable about how to do it!!

    About a third of our backyard has never had grass. Weeds grow 5-6 feet high before we go out and cut/pull the weeds. We want to get to the point of having grass.

    Is there a process to go from what we have to grass? I was thinking of spraying grass and weed killer now, then in the spring rototill it, smooth it out, and plant grass seed.

    Any other ideas? Thanks!
     
  2. Bad Sport

    Bad Sport HALF A BUBBLE OFF Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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    I would do the weed killer when it becomes active, unless it already is. Let it sit to kill the roots, rototill it up, rake up all the roots and such, make a drag to pull behind your lawn tractor if you have one to smooth it out, and plant grass.
     
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    • pishta

      pishta I know I'm right....

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      Thats what I would suggest, sterilize the top soil, till and level, then plant. They have some encapsulated grass seed that will grow on cement. could be a good starter in an unfriendly environment. My friend used to install turf and refused to do it unless they agreed to or had a sprinkler system. It must have water. Do you have birds? Consider covering the seedlings with chickenwire.
       
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      • Bad Sport

        Bad Sport HALF A BUBBLE OFF Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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        I would also suggest looking into the spray stuff instead of plain grass seed. Someone local should have that capability, it might yield better results, as long as it isn't crazy expensive..
         
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        • Alaskan_TA

          Alaskan_TA Well-Known Member

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          You can cover fresh grass seed with with sheet plastic, most hardware stores sell it by the roll.

          It prevents the birds from eating the seeds & it also helps any available ground moisture to stay will the seeds during the germination process.

          You can use black plastic to help any heat available from the sun in colder, wetter climates to help speed up the germination process also.
           
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          • 66fyssh

            66fyssh Don't Stop Believin' FABO Gold Member

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            Great suggestions. We just cut down/pulled out the dead, but still standing, weeds today. I'll wait until spring to apply weed killer. Then rent a rototiller. WevWe been thinking about buying a lawn tractor and really need to with .8 acre to mow (although the wife likes the exercise of pushing a mower, trouble is we're not getting younger!).

            I know we didn't want the expense of sod, but I hadn't thought about spray grass seed, thanks @Bad Sport. Will definitely look to do that.

            Would it help to rototill this winter or just wait until spring?
             
          • toolmanmike

            toolmanmike FABO Staff Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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            Roundup in the spring when the weeds are young and growing. Roundup is a contact weed killer and needs to touch the plant. It doesn't have carryover so you can plant grass in a week. or so. Yes, till, drag, rake, level, whatever. Spread a starter fertilizer. Broadcast the seed, rake or drag it in, roll it, and water. Keep the ground moist but don't over water.
             
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            • toolmanmike

              toolmanmike FABO Staff Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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              20150508_185527.jpg 20150508_185408.jpg
               
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              • 66fyssh

                66fyssh Don't Stop Believin' FABO Gold Member

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                @toolmanmike you are a Yard Guy, for sure!!!

                I found bulk concentrated Round Up Pro for sale so I'll get that when the time comes.

                Thanks guys, now we just need Spring to get here.

                In the meantime my winter project is rebuilding my Barracuda front suspension and replacing the leaf springs.
                 
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                • JDMopar

                  JDMopar Well-Known Member

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                  The spray seeding is called Hydroseeding, if you need to find someone local to do it. You might be able to get someone with a small tractor equipped with a rototiller on the back to till it up for you. If you have that famous GA. red clay where you live, it could be tough to do with a regular tiller. If you do rent one and do it yourself.....rent one with rear tines so it won't jump up and down so bad. If it wasn't for round leaf weeds.....I wouldn't have anything green in my yard! lol Good luck.
                   
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                  • Bad Sport

                    Bad Sport HALF A BUBBLE OFF Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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                    That is probably better than trying to do it by hand!
                     
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                    • 66fyssh

                      66fyssh Don't Stop Believin' FABO Gold Member

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                      We live on top of a small mountain...they call it Ward Mountain. The ground up here is good, but down at the bottom, they leveled for new storage units going in and that Red Clay is very visible!!

                      The area we're working with is around 70' x 40'. I'll get some quotes to see what folks will charge to rototill it. I don't do a lot of yard work but just like the car, I like doing everything I can do myself.
                       
                    • Bad Sport

                      Bad Sport HALF A BUBBLE OFF Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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                      That's not bad. If you could get it tilled for say 250.00 (less would be better, lol), youz two do the labor of the raking and pickup, have someone drag it for say a 100.00 bucks, then hydro-seed it (last I knew it was around .20 cents a sq ft) 2800 x .20.....560 bucks.

                      Roughly a thousand bucks maybe? You'd have a nice yard.

                      My buddy down the road did his in that manner a few years ago and his yard is nice and flat and beautiful green, weed free in the summer.
                       
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                      • Tooljunkie

                        Tooljunkie King of cobble/master of the broken bolt FABO Gold Member

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                        Here i just removed a bunch of trees, then stumped it.
                        A harley rake and hand picked roots and rocks. The grass just grows on its own. Weeds come up and i just mow it.
                        Eventually i will spray the weeds.
                         
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                        • krazykuda

                          krazykuda FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                          TMI... :eek:
                           
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                          • Unconventional

                            Unconventional Well-Known Member

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                            I used VAPAM a soil sterilizer. It did help to have friends in the AG industry. :D
                             
                          • 66fyssh

                            66fyssh Don't Stop Believin' FABO Gold Member

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                            Not fair...but i would have done the same thing. :)
                             
                          • 66fyssh

                            66fyssh Don't Stop Believin' FABO Gold Member

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                            I would do that, for sure. Then we can claim we did "a lot" of it ourselves. Cleaning out the dirt is grunt work, but I like it. The rest of the backyard and the front yard greens up nice in the summer. We had to put the sprinkler on it this past summer during a dry spell. Damn, this winter has been very rainy (was going to say wet, but Karl is watching, lol). Last year was the second wettest on record for Georgia, but most of it came in the fall and winter.

                            I'm not a keep up with Jones's kind of guy but the guy next door is a Fireman and has plenty of time to work on his lawn. His front lawn looks like a dang golf green. Maybe just slightly nicer looking than TMM's. :poke:. Seriously, though, I want to get the backyard looking better. This will be our third summer in the house and I have plans for a deck, and already have a fire pit, a hammock, and horseshoes just waiting for Spring.
                             
                          • Unconventional

                            Unconventional Well-Known Member

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                            That lawn never had a noticeable weed in the dozen years I mowed it :lol: Follow the directions, let it work for the specified amount of time, till, seed, cover with mulch of choice, water the s&*# out of it, enjoy.
                             
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                            • Bad Sport

                              Bad Sport HALF A BUBBLE OFF Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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                              Once it's done and you mow it properly, as in sharp blades and changing direction of your mowing (if you get a rider, switching up the mowing direction will keep from getting tracks in the soil from the tires and it's actually beneficial to the grass itself), it will look awesome.
                               
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                              • Bad Sport

                                Bad Sport HALF A BUBBLE OFF Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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                                Forgot to mention, barefoot in the evening grass with a cold beer in your hand will make you appreciate it a little more. :D


                                There's a little incentive for ya!
                                 
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                                • 66fyssh

                                  66fyssh Don't Stop Believin' FABO Gold Member

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                                  Oh yeah! Plan on doing that often. Sitting around the newly constructed fire pit at night.

                                  Wife asked for a fire pit for Christmas. So, I wrapped a single wall block and put it under the tree. After she opened it I went to my truck and brought the galvanized steel ring I got from Tractor Supply around to the back door. She still didn't understand (it had been a couple of months since she told me) until I told her. Now I just need to pick up about 60 more wall blocks and build it.
                                   
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                                  • Ddaddy

                                    Ddaddy I'm changing the World... one pixel at a time! FABO Gold Member

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                                    When I bought my house in Cincinnati, the half acre back yard was nothing but hard packed clay and sparse weeds.

                                    I spread Scott’s lawn food and tilled the entire lot about 2-3” deep in the very early Spring and ignored the weeds. No pre treatment for weeds since I figured the grass would choke them out and I could deal with whatever weeds survived later.

                                    Then when the temps rose into the 50s, I broadcast spread a 75% fescue / 25% rye grass mix and went over it again with the tiller to mix it in. Once the grass began to emerge I waited until it was about 3” tall and overseeded it again with the same mixture.

                                    That Fall, I fed the entire lawn again with Scott’s lawn food to help the rhizomes develop.

                                    This is what it looked like the following Spring...

                                    4BD16D0D-E0F7-42D5-A60A-53F13DAA3422.jpeg

                                    82DB3DB0-AD6B-4D3B-AE4E-50E9EBDA0A64.jpeg

                                    All I can say is that’s what I did...but what do I know?
                                     
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                                    • SpeedThrills

                                      SpeedThrills Well-Known Member

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                                      "Be careful what you wish for, you may get it."

                                      Fifteen years ago, my wife and I had our "dream house" built. It included a beautiful new sodded lawn. It still looks pretty good, but not without a lot of maintenance.
                                      We had a sprinkler system installed to water it and our gardens. There's no way you could water it properly with a hose.
                                      I tried spreading all of the right treatments, at the right time. Turns out, it's not much more to pay someone to do it. We used 3 companies before we found the guy we have now.
                                      I cut it myself. "Landscapers" are brutal when it comes to trying to find one that will edge, trim, cut and clean up properly (not just blow the grass into the street) and for less than a small fortune.
                                      I love it, but boy, it does give me a workout!
                                       
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                                      • 66fyssh

                                        66fyssh Don't Stop Believin' FABO Gold Member

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                                        Your lawn looks great @Ddaddy !! I would take that!!

                                        @SpeedThrills , my wife said mowing ours gives her a workout too!! I get 3-4 miles walking in the mill at work, I'll let her continue to mow ours...but eventually well get a rider.

                                        When I was stationed in Arkansas we had a lawn service that treated it only. We cut it. I didn't see much difference before and after their service. Think we did it for one year, then quit.

                                        I know we just have to make the yard a priority. I'm more interested in getting the backyard in shape since that's where we'll spend our time. The front is for neighbors and will come when it comes!
                                         
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