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Thread: Planted grass...did I screw it up?

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Planted grass...did I screw it up?

    I just spent the weekend replacing grass that had died when our house was vacant (bought a foreclosure). It got completely roasted in the S. Arizona sun. We have an edged area that's about 300 square feet.

    Here's what I did:
    - tilled the soil down to about 6 inches, and tilled in some steer manure for fertilizer. The soil looked surprisingly good.
    - raked it all smooth. After tilling it was about 4 inches above the level of the rest of the yard.
    - seeded with bermuda, and covered the seed with a thin layer of manure.
    - currently watering it profusely.

    I think that all sounds OK, but my worry is that it will be too lumpy once the grass is established. It was smooth after tilling, but i had to walk all over it when seeding it and covering the seed. All the footprints are 2-3 inches lower than the areas that I didn't walk. I didn't want to rake it again, since I had just carefully laid and covered seed. Does anyone know if that will eventually flatten out, or should I just rake it smooth again and fill in any bare spots later?

    I can post pictures this evening if I remember...
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    smc's Avatar
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    Re: Planted grass...did I screw it up?

    I just finished overseeding and the grass I planted last year. I used organig compost to ammend the alkaline soil. The fescue grew all throught the blistering summer and cold winter in big patches. Now, after the heavy storms, it is starting to fill in nicely. I trimmed it twice this weekend and the new seeds have already sprouted.

    I don't have any experience with grass - my wife just wanted some around the pool. Perhaps you should roll a sod roller over to flatten the soil bfore the seed sprouts. Only water once or twice a day, enough to just moisten the soil, 5-10 minutes each time, in the morning and right before the sun goes down. Holding back on the watering should help make the grass more drought-tolerant and help keep the weeds and bugs at bay.
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    Re: Planted grass...did I screw it up?

    I think that everything will settle out nicely for you. If it is really bothering you, you can smooth things out a bit with a rake. You can also put some fill dirt in the footprints. The good thing about bermuda is that it really doesn't care what you do to it as long as you water it well enough.
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    Re: Planted grass...did I screw it up?

    you can always sand the areas that you want smooth.. wait until the grass has come up and the soil is hard enough to walk on.. then get some sand and sand the spots... the grass will grow up threw the sand, if you get to much.
    good luck
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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Planted grass...did I screw it up?

    Thanks for the tips folks. I didn't get home til dark tonight, so the pictures aren't useful. I think the soil is already settling on its own as it gets watered. It is noticeably smoother than on Saturday afternoon.

    I'll post some before/after photos of the whole yard in a few weeks. We're doing a lot!
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    Re: Planted grass...did I screw it up?

    I remember way back when helping a friend do his yard, he said to get it nice and smooth you use a roller. I remember him renting it for a few bucks a day. You fill the roller with water to weigh it down. I think he rolled it every day for a week.
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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Planted grass...did I screw it up?

    Here is a picture....

    In daylight, it looks like it hasn't settled at all. I'll probably give rolling it a try.
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    Re: Planted grass...did I screw it up?

    I would suggest raking your way out, front to back to smooth it out. Then roll it by pushing the roller, your foot prints won't be as bad. When your watering the seed you want it continually damp. Not wet (no puddles if possible).

    I don't know your sod prices, but here if you pick it up at the sod farm its a $1.00 a roll cash.
    That area could be done fairly cheaply, and you have a instant lawn in a weekend. Just a thought. Good Luck
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    Re: Planted grass...did I screw it up?

    I use peat moss over the seed. It really holds the moisture and keeps the seeds moist. I learned this trick from a friend of mine that is a superintendent at a country club.
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    Re: Planted grass...did I screw it up?

    How many square feet do you have there?

    I'd just sod the whole thing. Seed is a PITA! Sod is not as much as you think and its an instant lawn. Just keep it watered.

    Edit: Looks like you said 300 sq ft. You could get a some blue grass-rye mix sod for .36 sq ft. Really cheap. For not too much more, a landscaper would install it.
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