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I need to plant about 1/4 acre of grass on some reclaimed yard this year. It’s too far away from the house to keep it watered. So should I just seed it and take it in and let Mother Nature take care of it? I’d like to fast track it a little as this huge chunk of yard had been brown since I moved in so would be nice to see it green and able to mow. Would straw on top of the seed help keep it moist till it grows? I’m sure I can get it but if anyone has any tips/tricks I’d be willing to try em? Planting a 50lb bag of 31 grass seed. Thanks.


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We used the netting with the embedded straw over a seeded area and it worked well keeping it moist and was relatively easy to remove when the time came. I was able to wet it down when the rain was too sparse, though. How far away is it - can you get however many feet of poly pipe to use temporarily for watering? I think routine watering when its germinating & sprouting is the key for it to grow in quick & thick.
 

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I have just planted about 1/2 acre of K-31 grass seed on my new lawn and I tilled the soil about an inch down. Got it as fine as I could, leveled it with a drag harrow, spread my seed, went over it again with a drag harrow. Then it started pouring rain and has not been dry enough to spread straw which was my intent. The seed is starting to come up and with what looks likes a pretty good stand. Its important to make a soft enough bed so the seeds have good ground contact and is not as easily washed away. Straw is ideal but I have found K-31 fescue is a pretty hearty grass that seems to grow without it.

If you cant water it I would try to plan for planting right before a rain.

Good Luck!
 

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Spreading straw over an area you can't irrigate would help to hold the moisture and the straw will just get chopped into the lawn eventually. The straw will also make it harder for the birds to pick all of the seeds out. Ideally, using a drill planting machine which plants the grass subsurface in rows is the best approach but those are expensive machines and few places rent them. If you have any hills or areas which can be washed out, try and protect those with either straw bales or other the material designed to prevent erosion.

Watering the grass is critical in the first two months. The ground needs to be kept moist, which is why the straw will help retain moisture. Normally, seed will germinate in 7 to 10 days and if 10 days after planting you aren't seeing new grass, the seed likely didn't get enough water. Getting a nice lawn is tricky......

Before planting, Make sure to work into the soil a lawn starting fertilizer specifically designed for new grass planting. You do NOT want to use a "weed and feed" on the area until the grass is well established as it will damage the new grass. Then follow the directions and keep the grass watered and you should have a nice, thick lawn by late summer.....

I would try and find some way to consistently get water to the site. In our area, this year we haven't had that problem because it never stops
raining.....Seriously, I think it has rained every 48 hours or more often for at least the last month...............or three.

Don't forget we like pictures here on GTT.....:good2:
 

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This^
you gotta have cover and water for the seeds to germinate. Quickest way I’ve seen is Hydroseed but you gotta keep it moist at all times no matter what method you use. Loose soil for the seeds to anchor to, and a thin layer of whatever you got for cover. Water regularly to stimulate the seeds to open. Once they’re in their germination stage, it’s important to not let it dry out fully because they will die in that stage. Then, once you see little whiskers poking up, keep the watering regimen for another week or so for the stragglers. Gotta have that water though. Rent a water buffalo if you need remote water.
 

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I need to plant about 1/4 acre of grass on some reclaimed yard this year. It’s too far away from the house to keep it watered. So should I just seed it and take it in and let Mother Nature take care of it? I’d like to fast track it a little as this huge chunk of yard had been brown since I moved in so would be nice to see it green and able to mow. Would straw on top of the seed help keep it moist till it grows? I’m sure I can get it but if anyone has any tips/tricks I’d be willing to try em? Planting a 50lb bag of 31 grass seed. Thanks.


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What is your schedule for completion - start immediately, fall, next year...? How do you plan to prepare the ground - till, plow, aerate...? Do you have any equipment - garden tiller? Tractor, neighbor with equipment, rent...?

Best way is to get a soil test, apply required fertilizer & lime, work up the soil, apply & cover seed with a 1/2 inch or so of soil. Request rain. For best results, plant in the late summer or early fall.

I remediated 3 acres of rocks, holes, stumps, weeds like this: starting in April, had Miss Utility locate buried lines, subsoiled 18”, removed stumps, rocks, etc & levelled with box blade & yard rake, tilled, applied lime & fertilizer, tilled again, broadcast buckwheat & covered with a chain drag, tilled twice more during the summer as buckwheat matured allowing it to reseed itself, tilled & broadcast KY31 & covered with chain drag in Late September.

Overkill? You bet but with the little John Fawne 1025R, good equipment, sweat, $$$, patience... Beautiful!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
What is your schedule for completion - start immediately, fall, next year...? How do you plan to prepare the ground - till, plow, aerate...? Do you have any equipment - garden tiller? Tractor, neighbor with equipment, rent...?

Best way is to get a soil test, apply required fertilizer & lime, work up the soil, apply & cover seed with a 1/2 inch or so of soil. Request rain. For best results, plant in the late summer or early fall.

I remediated 3 acres of rocks, holes, stumps, weeds like this: starting in April, had Miss Utility locate buried lines, subsoiled 18”, removed stumps, rocks, etc & levelled with box blade & yard rake, tilled, applied lime & fertilizer, tilled again, broadcast buckwheat & covered with a chain drag, tilled twice more during the summer as buckwheat matured allowing it to reseed itself, tilled & broadcast KY31 & covered with chain drag in Late September.

Overkill? You bet but with the little John Fawne 1025R, good equipment, sweat, $$$, patience... Beautiful!
Will be immediately. There used to be a building and gravel driveway basically in the front yard. I raked and scooped out as much gravel as possible. And then hauled about 3 dump trailer loads of soil to cover what gravel was left after a few months of rain. Yesterday the top soil was finally dry enough to spread out with the bucket then raked and smoothed it. I bought 50lb bag of grass seed. It’s mostly flat. I’ll try to take or find a pic. I may be able to put a few water hoses together and water it. I was able to seed another area this winter and of course because of the rain it grew very well.


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I've read all the posts here on growing grass. I can't think of a thing to ad to this because I have tried for over fifty years to lay down grass seed & get it to grow. I no longer care about it. If I have a bare area, I just let the weeds fill it in. For me its a waste of time and a lot of money. Weeds are green too. Anyway, I'm a pretty good flower & veggie gardener. And so far I have no desire to eat the grass.:laugh:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
This area on the left is maybe 75x75 and imbedded with gravel from a previous driveway. I used loader and box blade to remove all I could. After last few months of rain some gravel has surfaced so I added 3 loads of topsoil and used landscape rake to spread out and cover stone. IMG_0647.jpg


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Thing to remember with watering, from seeding time to emergence, you don't need to "soak" the ground, only the top 1/2" or so needs to be wet as the seeds should be in the top 1/8" or so, BUT that top 1/2" needs to STAY damp the whole time.
Once the grass has immerged, then you want to start watering deeper and less often, to encourage the roots to grow deeper which will help with drought tolerance overall.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So instead of using the landscape rake after I broadcast the seed would it be better to pull a drag over the seed? I planted some last year and seems like the rake caused my grass to grow in rows where the tines were. Maybe just a pallet with little weight on it pulled over the area would work.


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A light drag or rake would work best IMO.
Any time you use a tool with "tines" you will end up with the lines/rows in the grass, as those are the areas that will get best soil/seed contact and germination.
A chain harrow would probably be the best choice overall, if one is available.
 

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A piece of chain link fence has been known to work in a pinch.

That is want I pulled behind this:

20190521_161538.jpg

(which is for sale by the way.....)
 

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i have been redoing some fields...early spring or late fall

once i get the dirt ready...fluffy and and major rocks removed

the day before rain is predicted

#1 i pull a rolling cultipacker around the field
#2 seed (broadcast for grass seed)
#3 drag a welded wire panel around the field
#4 pull the cultipacker around it again

done

if i am doing patches in the yard i do the same and then spread some old hay or straw over it and water it

perfect world would be to hydroseed with a blown straw cover but that takes :gizmo:
 

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I've had good luck using an old bed spring. Ground corncobs work much better than straw. The corncobs will rot and add high nitrogen compost. The ground corncobs hold moisture very well and don't require as much watering.
 

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I've had good luck using an old bed spring. Ground corncobs work much better than straw. The corncobs will rot and add high nitrogen compost. The ground corncobs hold moisture very well and don't require as much watering.
never heard of using ground corn cobs.....not sure even where to get some around here.......

question is.....are they fine ground? ....what do you use to spread them ? .....could you run them thru a broadcast seeder with big holes?
 

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The best cover I've found is grass clippings. You have to use them fresh as they'll compost if they sit for any time. the clippings cover nice,hold the moisture, and break down and feed the new seed just as mulching feeds your lawn. Problem with straw is it blows around if you can't keep it moist and can introduce weeds in the lawn.
 

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never heard of using ground corn cobs.....not sure even where to get some around here.......

question is.....are they fine ground? ....what do you use to spread them ? .....could you run them thru a broadcast seeder with big holes?
We used to get them from the feed mill by the gunney sack full. Seed farms would have them also. They were about quarter inch square-ish. Never measured them. Spread them by hand or a wide open broadcast spreader. You want to see some green grass, they are full of nitrogen. Usually makes the other grass look like crap.
 

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I cant add much either, but can clarify one point at least.

If you have prepared the seed bed already by either tilling, bringing in new dirt, or in some way breaking up the ground so you arent just throwing seeds on hard ground , and it sounds like you mostly have, those seeds then need to be slightly covered or pressed into the soil for best results.
Some are accomplishing both by dragging. I find that it can leave areas with no seeds if you arent careful. As with all things, YMMV.
I prefer not to do it that way. In the times Ive done it, Ive had the best luck with either tilling a large area, or raking smaller ones, then seeding, then rolling it. A cultipacker would do this well too.

Unrelated to the OP, but sort of an FYI for anyone else interested.
On established lawns for overseeding, I like to use a spiked areator. They arent much good for actual aerating, but if they have a lot of spikes and discs, they are wonderful for seeding as they give the seeds somewhere to go, and then as the ground swells somewhat from watering or rain, they are naturally covered.
Standard core areating works too, but there arent nearly as many places for the seeds to go as with spike type.
I dont roll when I do this.

Incidentally, Ive been working on this for going on 4 years now.
My lawn was more weeds than grass when we moved in, which was a disappointment to me, as I took a lot of pride in my old lawn, but it took a lot of work to get it there.
Once I got the weeds under control, which isnt too hard, except for the Crabgrass, then I got to deal with the Bermuda grass. That stuff is awful if you dont like it. In the South, I hear they love it for lawns. I can see why. Its tenacious, but kind of unsightly to me, especially in nice Bluegrass.
Anyway, the only way to kill it is with several applications of Roundup or similar (Ornamec works too if you have Tall Fescue), over the course of a couple years. Not much fun, as it kills everything around it too, even the grass you just planted the year before.
I might now be getting on top of it though, and this year for the first time planted a variety of Tall Fescue called Houndog 8. Supposed to be finer bladed and dark green much like Bluegrass is, and since its not killed by Ornamec, I may have a new tool to add to the fight against any future Bermuda. Time will tell.
Anyway, all the above is the best result I get with seeding the bare spots I end up with every Fall and Spring from killing the Bermuda.
 
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