Unsure of what to from now until spring

kiki_thinkingOctober 4, 2011

I bought a house with a bad lawn.

I mowed high all summer. 10 days ago I mowed short, hand dethatched 2000 sq ft, mowed again and bagged thatch. Topdressed with thin layer of peat moss, and overseeded with 15 lbs of i think k31 fescue. We have had rain, or i have watered and temperatures have mostly been 70s to 50s. Some germination is happening, not sure how to tell if it is the majorit of he seed or just some.

I have been told i will need to mow in 2 to 4 weeks, and that i should sharpen my mower blade so i dont yank the seedlings out as i mow.

Also, that i should fertilize with a starter fertilizer when i mow and one time later t his fall.

I have found both alfalfa and soy meal locally for $11/50 lbs and would like to fertilize with one of those, which should i use and why?

Also, i have 11large oak trees that are going to drop huge volumes of leaves on my front yard very soon. My mower has a mulching blade, is that the same as a mulching mower? How deep of a layer of mulched leaves can i allow to sit on top my very young grass?

Also, can i use my leaf blower to get the leaves that are already beginning to fall on my sprouting grass? Will bending the new grass break it? Everyone warns not to walk on it, and warns not to leave leaves laying on it. Who knew grass needed to be coddled so!

Thanks for any help and advice!

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I have mulch mowed an 8 inch layer of leaves, mostly oak, into my turf and when done there was a layer of brown material in the grass blades that was chomped by the earthworms in a short period of time (2 weeks at most). Never leave whole leaves laying on turf grass since they obstruct the grass blades access to sunlight which those blades need to grow, but I have not found mulched leaves to be a problem and the following spring the grass in that area grew greener, thicker, faster then any other area nearby that did not get leaves mulch mowed in.
While some mower manufacterers make "mulching" blades they are not that much different then the regualr blades and cost more. I don't think the price difference is worth it.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 1:48PM
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What about over newly germinated seed though? Obviously you can't rake it but will mulching smoother the young grass out?

    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 8:01PM
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That will depend on where in the process the grass is as well as how thick that, now, mulch is. If the mulch is thick enough to cover the grass blades so they cannot get access to the sun then they, the grass blades, will die.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 6:33AM
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Thanks for the help. I have fine spindly strands of grass, about a half an inch long!

I am already having leaves fall on the yard. Will try leaf blower tonight.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 8:31AM
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Leaf blowing has worked so far! Grass is about 1 inch tall and fairly thick. Front yard looks like an easter basket!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2011 at 7:41PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Easter basket is the look you should have. Great job!

I would blow the leaves off until the grass is 4 to 5 inches tall. When it is that tall, the roots are going to be deep enough that mowing an inch off the tops will not harm anything down below. Walking on new grass should not be a problem if the seed was rolled down properly. If the seed was not rolled down, then walking on it will push foot prints down in the soil. What farmers find is that grass grows better where it was walked on by cattle. That's why we roll new seed. Walking on it does the same thing as rolling.

Depending on where you live, the grass may not get tall enough this season to mow one time. Mark the date you seeded on your calendar and next year, if you need to seed again, do it a month earlier.

Bag your leaves for easy transport but keep them to start a compost pile.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 12:02PM
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Am fertilizing tomorrow with a seed starting fertilizer. Was going to use alfalfa or mil organize but since I'm blowin off th leaves I'm afraid it will blow the fertilizer away too.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 1:44AM
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