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Author Topic: Making A Yard  (Read 1042 times)

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Offline DWyatt

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Making A Yard
« on: May 16, 2022, 08:20:04 AM »
The time has finally come to get the yard planted around the house we built last year. This past week it was finally dry so I had a busy weekend getting things all prepped before the rain started last night. Living on "the ridge" as it's known around here has it's challenges, mainly that bedrock is 8"-12" down from the surface. Dad has an old TSC tiller for his tractor that I used to prep everything, breaking two welds in the process. Das has always referred to that tiller as the demo machine because it's his cheapest attachment and it is been ABUSED then welded back together and abused some more and it just keeps going

Saturday I worked through the front yard getting dirt graded around the sidewalk I poured a couple weeks ago and getting everything prepped for seed. Here's the result after about 6 hours of work Saturday.



 

Sunday was a doozie, about 8 hours and the sun was all the way on the whole time and it was HOT (for Ohio). I has a lot of dirt to haul around to backfill around the patio that I poured at the same time as the front sidewalk.



 



 

Where you see that there was grass tilled up on the left side in the picture below is the natural grade around the house, everything around the house is backfilled about 24".



 

Note to self, when you have 70 lbs of grass seed and the same amount of fertilizer to put down, don't do it with one of those little hand crank spreaders. My left forearm feels like it's going to explode. My process is to till everything up, grade with the tractor and homemade grading attachment, drag, seed, drag again, then roll. All in all, I seeded about 0.65 acres and I'm definitely ready to be back at the office job. Evenings this week will consist of family bonding time picking up rocks, there's so many.

Offline samandothers

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Re: Making A Yard
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2022, 09:10:12 AM »
That looks like a lot of work!  I see a push rotary spreader in your future!  Will you put straw down to help retain some moisture? 

Offline Sedgehammer

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Re: Making A Yard
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2022, 09:53:36 AM »
You have flat ground , so shouldn't be too many wash outs

For best results you'll need to keep the ground damp all the time until it's sprouted and about a 1" high . Those seeds are so small , that if the ground dries out , there's not much moisture in the seed , so it easily dries out and dies

I've put in many , many yards when we had our lawn n landscape service . Easily the #1 failure was the top layer of the firt drying out and killing the seed . Depending on the size of the yard and the exsiting irrigation if any , lead to many hoses and sprinklers set ups

Offline DWyatt

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Re: Making A Yard
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2022, 10:29:32 AM »
The total area is just over half an acre. I thought about using straw, but the only way to do it is with matting which is far too much money. I will bank on the rain that is forecasted for the next week. Another struggle with "The Ridge" is that there's no trees and the wind always blows, normally pretty strong. Straw would be an absolute disaster. There was a decent amount of grass that was tilled up that should help to keep the moisture at the surface. The bedrock is shallow, but the soil on top is very rich so when I put in my temporary yard last fall, I had sprouting within 7-10 days. If anyone drives by, pay no attention to me doing the rain dance  :D

Offline Wlmedley

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Re: Making A Yard
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2022, 08:46:28 PM »
Ive had good luck sowing wheat along with my grass seed on a new lawn.Wheat will come up really quick and after it is cut its just like putting straw on and wheat plants will die .Wheat seed is fairly cheap.
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Offline Southside

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Re: Making A Yard
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2022, 12:27:43 AM »
The wheat as a nurse crop is a really good idea, it will use up some of the moisture but the weed suppression and mulching effect will help.  
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Online Tom King

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Re: Making A Yard
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2022, 08:27:47 AM »
Here's the absolute best rake I've found, after trying more than a few, for such derocking.  You can hear it hit one that you don't see.  They come in various widths.  I've spent more hours using one than I want to think about.

https://www.amleo.com/the-original-dura-rake-24-inch-head/p/24SR

Online gspren

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Re: Making A Yard
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2022, 08:40:12 AM »
Through the years my yard making has gotten really lax. On the farm 30 years ago if working near the house I tried to make the ground perfect as far as rocks, stones, etc and then working in the seed and regular watering while out behind the barn I would just pick up or bury rocks that I thought the mower might hit, broadcast the seed and forget it and the next year both areas looked the same.
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Offline hedgerow

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Re: Making A Yard
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2022, 09:28:19 AM »
In my area using a drill or a slit seeder works the best to get a yard started. We have too much wind to keep the straw in place. I have had some luck using wheat with the grass seed. I seem to have the best luck with grass seed by seeding in the fall. Easier to keep it moist in the fall. Keeping it moist is the key to success. 

Offline aigheadish

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Re: Making A Yard
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2022, 01:57:51 PM »
Looks like a ton of work that should turn out lovely. I like the house too, something about dark colors on a house that I think looks good! Make sure you show us progress pictures!
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Offline K-Guy

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Re: Making A Yard
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2022, 02:37:32 PM »

Before you seeded it, you should of told the wife you made a garden for her to use in her spare time!!!  smiley_jester
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Offline DWyatt

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Re: Making A Yard
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2022, 07:15:59 AM »
We're doing good with the rain as long as today's rain actually happens. We had 1.6" Sunday night after I got it seeded and have another one scheduled for today. Yesterday we got to enjoy some family time picking up rocks for 2+ hours. Another one like that and I'll call it good enough. My hamstrings hate picking up rocks and it brings back memories when we redid my parents yard as a kid, Dad said it was good bonding time  :D

Offline Spike60

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Re: Making A Yard
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2022, 05:22:51 AM »
Soil looks good and the grass in the picture looks good and healthy. Be fun if you include some progrees pics and how many weeks until first mowing.

My Dad always told me you can't save money buying cheap tools, and I found that applies to grass seed as well. Quality seed yields the best results. Dad turns 93 today BTW :)   

Also have to pay attention to the sell by dates on seed just like with food. Beyond those dates, germination rate begins to drop. Local farm store places tend to have the freshest seed. At the big box stores like Home Depot and Lowes I've seen pallets of seed for sale well past the expiration dates.
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Offline aigheadish

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Re: Making A Yard
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2022, 06:34:43 AM »
I have a decent sized yard that I'd love to add some grass seed to to fill in bare spots or spots I've ruined with the backhoe, until I saw the price of a big bag of seed. Man, that stuff is expensive!

Happy birthday to Spike60's dad!
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Online gspren

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Re: Making A Yard
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2022, 07:41:15 AM »
I had two areas behind my new pole building to seed this year both about 30'X60' one area was where we had to put in a rain water retention pit and the other was where we burned all the stumps and tree tops. I used the same bag of seed for both and both areas sprouted but the grass on the burn site is much darker green than the other area, must be something from all the ashes, it'll probably even out in time.
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Offline DWyatt

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Re: Making A Yard
« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2022, 01:24:51 PM »
I was certain that I had uploaded these pictures, but I was wrong. These were from 5/30, about 2 weeks after being planted. We've had 0.2" rain since then which seemed to pop up more grass (actually you can see that rain blowing in from the West in the second picture). While it looks pretty good, I got to looking at the recommended seeding rates and I think I put down about half of what I should have. I was worried about this when I planted, but it was a weekend and the local coop where I get my seed was closed. So I expect the grass to be a bit thin, but I will go back in the fall and slit seed everything. As aigheadish stated, good grass seed from the local coop is $$$$$. Another 100 lbs should get me good for the slit seeding.



 



 


Offline aigheadish

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Re: Making A Yard
« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2022, 02:10:20 PM »
I don't know anything about seeding a lawn, other than about the expense of the seed, thus my following question... What would be the harm of letting it go to seed from there and letting it propagate itself? That's a thing, right? 

It looks great already!
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Offline DWyatt

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Re: Making A Yard
« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2022, 02:27:30 PM »
I'm not much of a yard planter myself, I try to only do it once per house build which puts me at 2 yards planted. I much preferred the process of laying sod when I working for a high end landscaping company in high school/college. My guess is that if I let it go to seed an re-seed itself that it would be a much longer process and less consistent than spreading grass seed. Maybe we can get someone like @Southside to chime in and he will probably have a better insight. Although my mower got sold with the old house and at todays prices, I may let it go to seed before I buy a new mower!

Offline Southside

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Re: Making A Yard
« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2022, 04:34:00 PM »
Is that a fescue mix you planted? There is no harm in allowing a grass to go to seed. The downside is that it will be done growing for the season. But the question is what is the season the variety of grass is and what weather is it in? Late summer / early fall is generally the best time to establish grass, with the exception of warm season varieties which I highly doubt you ended up with. 

I would just overseed it come fall myself. 
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Offline DWyatt

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Re: Making A Yard
« Reply #19 on: June 03, 2022, 05:28:05 PM »
This is labeled as a perennial tri-rye blend. I don't remember what exactly the make-up is, but I've had incredible luck with it in the past.


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