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Discussion Starter #1
I couldn’t keep ahead of the invasive weeds and crabgrass we have this year not to mention it was really dry most of the summer. The lawn died off early in the summer and never came back. I was trying to do it without chemicals but I lost that battle so I decided to start over. It also gave me the chance to level the lawn as it had deteriorated over the years.

First stage was to remove the weeds and grade. I used my 1025r and my 5 ft box blade. I have to be careful as the electric and fiber are buried along the woodline and they also run along the road. But I will till in some compost and the left over soil next.


I am going to seed after that and have a slit seeder that does a good job of spreading seed.
 

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I'm also in MD. The drought took a toll, but things are bouncing back quickly after we got a little rain.

What kind of grass are you planting? Ive been overseeding with lesco tall fescue transition blend and getting great results. I'm moving away from mixes with bluegrass or perrenial rye hoping that the fescue will tolerate the heat and future droughts better.
 

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...First stage was to remove the weeds and grade. I used my 1025r and my 5 ft box blade. I have to be careful as the electric and fiber are buried along the woodline and they also run along the road. But I will till in some compost and the left over soil next...
What process did you use to get to the point shown in the photo? It looks like you have a perfect seedbed. If you did that with just a box blade, I'm impressed. If not, I'm still impressed! Very nice work.
 

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What process did you use to get to the point shown in the photo? It looks like you have a perfect seedbed. If you did that with just a box blade, I'm impressed. If not, I'm still impressed! Very nice work.
Yes just a box blade for the grading however this is not good seedbed as the clay is rock hard underneath. I am waiting on a trailer load of compost before I work the ground with the tiller. Right now it would just make it dust.

I started with the already dead weeds/grass and I scraped with the box blade. It took off probably 75% of the dead material. I then set the tiller to a shallow depth to remove the rest of the plant material. From there I spent an afternoon grading down all of the high spots with the box blade and that is where the soil on the far side of the photo came from. I will use this to bring up the height near the walkway to the house and against the driveway so I can mow those areas without fear of scalping or cutting up my walkway.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm also in MD. The drought took a toll, but things are bouncing back quickly after we got a little rain.

What kind of grass are you planting? Ive been overseeding with lesco tall fescue transition blend and getting great results. I'm moving away from mixes with bluegrass or perennial rye hoping that the fescue will tolerate the heat and future droughts better.
I went to Southern States and also got a tall fescue blend (it is probably the same Lesco brand) instead of the K31 blend. The University of Maryland recommends the tall fescue blend over because it is supposed to be lower maintenance in our region.
 

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I went to Southern States and also got a tall fescue blend (it is probably the same Lesco brand) instead of the K31 blend. The University of Maryland recommends the tall fescue blend over because it is supposed to be lower maintenance in our region.
In past years, I have gotten good results with Southern States "Maryland Mix", which contained a mix of tall fescues, perennial rye, and bluegrass. But I have started switching over to blends of turf type tall fescues, sans KBG and perennial rye, as UMD recommends.

re K31 - I won't touch it. It is a very course bladed grass. Tough, but unattractive and considered a weed by many. Your lawn is going to look great with the TTF from Southern States.
 

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You guys are smart for using tall fescue, take it from a guy with a turf degree. I’ve seeded a lot of my home lawn to it and it does well in heat and drought. I mow mine high at 4 inches because I only mow once per week and don’t like to violate the 1/3 rule of mowing. Most people are more comfortable at 3 inches though and that’s sufficient, but I wouldn’t go any lower than that. Higher mowing equals better roots for the grass and less weeds. If you’re looking to control weeds with no chemicals, higher mowing is essential. Don’t scalp your lawn to dirt, like people around here do, and expect healthy green grass.
 

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Watching this thread. I have a lot to learn about grass but I’ve got a lot to do before I’m ready for grass.
 

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Watching this thread. I have a lot to learn about grass but I’ve got a lot to do before I’m ready for grass.
My biggest challenge has been trying to identify the various grassy weeds so that I can take the right course of action to eliminate them. The annuals are pretty easy to deal with via a pre-emergent, but the perennial grassy weeds are a different story.

I see that you are in Texas, so a warm season grass may work better than a cool season variety. Check with your ag extension office for advice based on your location within the state. Needless to say, don't go by the marketing pitch that is printed on the bags at the big box stores!

I have always assumed that seed coating is a sales gimmick that gives you one pound of seed for the price of two, but maybe rpoog can comment?
 

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Discussion Starter #11


Compost is down and now to start tilling. Utilities still not marked but I know where they are enough to stay away from them for now. The worst part will be having to till the compost into the rock hard clay by hand over the utilities.
 

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My biggest challenge has been trying to identify the various grassy weeds so that I can take the right course of action to eliminate them. The annuals are pretty easy to deal with via a pre-emergent, but the perennial grassy weeds are a different story.

I see that you are in Texas, so a warm season grass may work better than a cool season variety. Check with your ag extension office for advice based on your location within the state. Needless to say, don't go by the marketing pitch that is printed on the bags at the big box stores!

I have always assumed that seed coating is a sales gimmick that gives you one pound of seed for the price of two, but maybe rpoog can comment?
I don’t know much about coated seed as we don’t use it where I work. I don’t think it’s necessary though. Best thing to do is seed in the fall and fertilize in the spring that way you get the most growth before the summer heat.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I tilled to about 6 inches but it is still like concrete below that. What would anyone here recommend for tilling depth? I can probably get down another 4-6 inches, especially if I were to temporarily remove the tilled soil, till again, and then put the previously tilled soil back.
 

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I tilled to about 6 inches but it is still like concrete below that. What would anyone here recommend for tilling depth? I can probably get down another 4-6 inches, especially if I were to temporarily remove the tilled soil, till again, and then put the previously tilled soil back.
In my opinion, you should be adequate at the 4 - 6". You just want it loose so the seed can take root and, with as hard as it in your case, for the roots to achieve some depth. Around here, 3", maybe 4 at the most, is the deepest I'd ever seen grass roots.
 

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I tilled to about 6 inches but it is still like concrete below that. What would anyone here recommend for tilling depth? I can probably get down another 4-6 inches, especially if I were to temporarily remove the tilled soil, till again, and then put the previously tilled soil back.
Perhaps use a subsoiler to break up the hard pan and improve drainage below the tilled depth? I don't know if this is worth doing, so I'm tossing it out for more knowledgeable folks to comment on.

I would just put the seed down because the end of the germination window is fast approaching. Besides, with the recent MD weather, excess water hasn't been a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Utilities were finally marked after a week so I could get as close to the lines with the tiller. Then graded again with the box blade to make things smooth again.

Will be able to seed tomorrow! Just have to do some cleanup at the curb.

 

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Well I will probably go over it in some spots but I have a slit seeder and it was pretty much intact afterwards.
 

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[SUB][/SUB]
Well I will probably go over it in some spots but I have a slit seeder and it was pretty much intact afterwards.
I hope that you are getting the nice light rain that we are getting up near Middletown. Are you seeing any germination yet?
 
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