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Redoing the lawn

Posted by vkolte01 6 (My Page) on
Sat, Sep 9, 06 at 20:55

We have 15000 Square feet lawn. We moved in this newly built house in Spring 2005. Whatever seeded by builder was some crappy grass. I tried to put fertilizer, water it etc. But by summer it was all dead and filled with crabgrass. So in fall I rented a tiller and tilled the land. Raked the weeds and seeded new lawn (rye). I think the mistake I did was not to slit seed and not to roll it. So when we got hurrican rain, significant part of lawn got washed out. I did not do anything besides putting CGM in spring. Now lawn is full of weeds (clover, crabgrass,grass looking like weeds etc).

In preparation to redoing lawn, I got my soil tested from Agricultural extension. (Soil-Sandy loam, Organic c - Medium, PH - 5.4 to 5.7, Nitrate Nitrogen - Med, Am. Nitrogen - Med low, Phosphrous - Med low to Med, Potassium - Med to High, Calcium - Med to high, Magnesium - Med high to High. The report recommends adding lime and fertilizer (20-10-10 now, 25-5-10 spring)

I also feel land has hardly any top soil. One landscaping guy also mentioned the same. So I was thinking of getting 3 inch worth of top soil delivered.
Agri. extension guy felt since weeds are growing there is soil and I should try to fix it by - 1)Round up lawn 2) After two weeks mow it very low 3)Core aerate 4)Broadcast seeding 5)Thatch it to work seeds in soil. He said if I get top soil delivered i might be fighting with some other problem with that soil.

So now I am confused should I follow Agri. extension guy's advice Or 1)Round up lawn 2)Mow it short 3)Put top soil(3inch layer) and compost(1 inch layer ?)4)Roll 5)Seed using slit seeder 6)Put starter fertilizer 7)Roll 8)Water

Also if I go adding topsoil route do I need to stick to same fertilizer ratio or go with the starter ferts ? Since ultimately I would like to go organic route, should I put organic ferts now itself or stick to synth. until Lawn get established.

Partly I feel, I should not spend money on top soil if I don't have to and on other hand I feel I want to do it right this time to avoid any future pain and expenses. So please help.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Redoing the lawn

If you're going to grow edible plants intended for your consumption, DO NOT use Round-Up to kill the existing weeds. That stuff stays in the soil for 10+ years and it is nasty stuff with regards to your health ... let alone the environment. I'm sorry, but I can't advise you on more than this. I've never had to re-do a lawn before, but I'm also facing the task now. I'm just going to lay sod. Seeding is too much of a hassle.

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